A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has begun to acknowledge that small droplets can linger in enclosed areas and lead to infection.

In a tweet, the organization stated that “#COVID19 spreads from a person with COVID-19 to others through larger droplets and smaller droplets known as aerosols.”

The B.C. CDC quietly made the chance to its website Tuesday, after months of saying – along with health officials – that COVID-19 spread only through large droplets expelled when a person talks, sneezes or coughs.

According to the B.C. CDC, the smaller droplets, also known as aerosols, are lighter and can linger in the air for longer periods of time.

“Smaller droplets can collect in enclosed spaces when there is not enough fresh air. Indoor accumulation is greater when more people share a space, spend more time together, or exercise, sing, shout, or speak loudly,” the B.C. CDC website said. “These conditions can lead to COVID-19 transmission. Opening windows or increasing fresh air intake with mechanical ventilation are important protective measures that can help reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

Respiratory infections such as influenza (flu) and COVID-19 are mainly spread by liquid droplets that come out of the mouth and nose when a person with the virus breathes, coughs, sneezes, talks, or sings. Droplets come in a wide range of sizes, from smaller than the width of a hair to larger than a grain of sand. A few large droplets or many small droplets can contain enough virus to infect another person.

The change in messaging is similar to one made by the Public Health Agency of Canada in November, when it acknowledged the spread of the virus via aerosols.

The B.C. CDC also changed its wording around surfaces spreading COVID-19. In prior versions of its website, the organization said that “infection from contact with contaminated surfaces appears to be less common.” On Tuesday, that messaging was switched to “rare.”

Other changes included encoding a three-layer mask, instead of simply a mask, in guidance on how to avoid becoming infected.

READ MORE: Canada updates COVID-19 guidelines to include airborne transmission, following U.S., WHO


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Just Posted

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Firefighters were called to a grass fire on a hillside slope behind the post office in Summerland on Friday shortly before 2 p.m. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Firefighters extinguish blaze behind Summerland Post Office

Fire on hillside slope occurred Friday, June 18 shortly before 2 p.m.

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Emergency crews responded to Highway 97 after a motorcycle incident. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Motorcyclist taken to hospital after collision on Highway 97

It is not known the extent of their injuries

The illegal open fire above Naramata continues to smoke on Friday, June 18. The fire was left to burn itself out by BC Wildfire. (Monique Tamminga - Western News)
Illegal open burn in Naramata will be left to smoke

BC Wildfire could not confirm whether the property owner had been fined

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

A motorycle crash has been reported on Westside Road. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: Westside Road reopened following motorcycle crash near Vernon

AIM Roads advises drivers to expect delays due to congestion

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Dereck Donald Sears. (Contributed/Crimestoppers)
Murder charge laid in relation to suspicious Kelowna death

Dereck Donald Sears is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Darren Middleton

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Most Read