The CDC released a misleading and inaccurate statistic about the rate of outdoor COVID-19 transmission, placing it at a “hugely exaggerated” 10%. A study from Ireland analyzed 232,164 cases of COVID-19; only 262 resulted from outdoor transmission – a transmission rate of just 0.1%. Initially, the CDC stated that unvaccinated people should wear masks in most outdoor settings and vaccinated people should continue to wear them at “large public venues.” The CDC updated their guidelines May 13, 2021, to state that vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear a mask outdoors and in most spaces indoors,4 but implies that unvaccinated people, including children and those with natural COVID-19 immunity from previous infection, must continue to do so in many cases, even outdoors. Vaccinated or not, and with a mask or without, however, the rate of outdoor transmission of COVID-19 is typically extremely low – and it’s time the CDC’s guidance acknowledged this.
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