The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention used a misleading statistic in its updated mask wearing guidance last month that exaggerated the risk of contracting COVID-19 while outdoors, according to the New York Times.
When CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky announced the updated guidance on mask-wearing, she told reporters that studies showed “less than 10 percent” of documented COVID-19 transmissions occurs outdoors. But several epidemiologists who spoke to the Times say the CDC’s benchmark is misleading.
The number “seems to be a huge exaggeration,” said Dr. Muge Cevik, a virologist at the University of St. Andrews.
Epidemiologists who spoke to the Times say the actual rate of outdoor transmission is less than 1% and may even be below 0.1%. If outdoor transmission does occur, it happens in crowded places or during close conversation, the Times’ David Leonhardt reported.
By saying outdoor transmission is “less than 10 percent” of COVID-19 transmission, the CDC actually made the risk of catching COVID outdoors seem far greater than it actually is. Read more…