CDC Adds ‘Breathing’ to Ways Coronavirus Spreads

Government agency lays groundwork for expanded mask mandates

Image Credits: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images.

As the United States nears 200,000 deaths from COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidelines to add breathing to the most common ways the coronavirus is spread by an infected person.

The U.S. has nearly 6.8 million cases of COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University data late Sunday.

An update Friday to the CDC website says there is growing evidence that small airborne coronavirus particles are produced when someone coughs, sneezes, sings, talks or breathes and can remain in the air to be breathed in by others, allowing an infection.

“These particles can be inhaled into the nose, mouth, airways, and lungs and cause infection. This is thought to be the main way the virus spreads,” the CDC website says.

They can also travel farther than 6 feet, for example when someone sings or exercises.

There is also updated information from the CDC about how to protect yourself. The CDC’s advice has been to stay 2 meters away from someone, wash your hands and disinfect surfaces often, and wear a face mask.

Now the CDC adds that people who are sick should stay home and isolate themselves and “use air purifiers to help reduce airborne germs in indoor spaces,” according to the CDC site.

Taj Mahal to reopen

Despite more than 5.4 million COVID-19 cases and about 100,000 new infections and more than 1,000 deaths daily, India will reopen the Taj Mahal to visitors Monday.

India has 1.3 billion people and some of the world’s most crowded cities, but a strict lockdown in March devastated the economy and the lives of tens of millions of people. With that in mind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi doesn’t want to follow some other nations in tightening restrictions on daily activity again.

Instead, his government has eased restrictions, including on many train routes, domestic flights, markets, restaurants — and now, the Taj Mahal.

The world-famous white marble mausoleum in the city of Agra is India’s most popular tourist attraction, drawing 7 million visitors a year.

It has been closed since March. Officials say that when it reopens, strict social distancing rules will be applied and daily visitor numbers will be capped at 5,000.

Schools were also to resume Monday on a voluntary basis for students ages 14 to 17, but many Indian states have said it is too soon to have children in the classroom.

Worldwide

Worldwide the number of cases has surpassed 30.8 million, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

The U.S. remains the country with the most infections. Recent growth in U.S. cases in the Southwest and Midwest is being attributed to the reopening of schools and colleges.

A four-day motorcycle rally has Missouri and other states bracing for an outbreak. Last year, over 100,000 people attended the Bikefest Lake of the Ozarks event. The annual event in Central Missouri began Wednesday and ends Sunday. A similar event was held last month in Sturgis, South Dakota. COVID-19 cases and one death in several states were traced back to Sturgis.

The U.S. has nearly 6.8 million cases, Hopkins reported late Sunday. India follows the U.S. with 5.4 million cases and Brazil comes in third with 4.5 million infections, according to Hopkins.

The U.S. has also recorded the highest number of COVID-19 deaths. The U.S. has more than 199,000 of the world’s more than 957,000 coronavirus deaths. Brazil follows the U.S. in coronavirus deaths with more than 136,000 deaths. India has reported nearly 87,000 deaths.


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