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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) edited information posted to its website last week on the transmission of the coronavirus from contaminated surfaces after the health agency deemed it confusing.
“After media reports appeared that suggested a change in CDC’s view on transmissibility, it became clear that these edits were confusing,” a press release published Friday read.
In its statement, the CDC said it’s possible to contract COVID-19 from touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your face, adding: “The primary and most important mode of transmission for COVID-19 is through close contact from person-to-person.”
The edit comes after the agency initially said Wednesday that the virus “does not spread easily” by “touching surfaces or objects.” In March, it had said it was possible for COVID-19 to spread through surfaces and objects, before updating its guidance to say surfaces are a medium by which the virus does not spread easily.
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“It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about how this virus spreads,” the agency’s said Friday.
The White House has criticized the CDC over its response to the pandemic. Last week, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro blasted the health agency over flawed coronavirus test kits, which led to a delay in testing nationwide.
Some tests shipped to states from the CDC were defective and gave inconclusive results.
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The Trump administration has also rebuffed the agency in recent weeks. It shelved a 17-page report from a CDC team that outlined steps for local authorities on how to safely reopen restaurants and other public places amid the ongoing virus.
Agency scientists were told the document “would never see the light of day.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.