Wednesday, May 12, 2021

CDC Blows it on Outdoor C19 Transmissions

It appears the CDC blew it yet again.  The CDC said it recommends the unvaccinated wear masks outdoors in most public settings.  However, the New York Times threw cold water on the claim yesterday while some studies suggest less than 1% of all Covid-19 transmissions may occur in outdoor settings.  The Times reported:

Do these CDC guidelines actually match the science?


When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines last month for mask wearing, it announced that “less than 10 percent” of Covid-19 transmission was occurring outdoors. Media organizations repeated the statistic, and it quickly became a standard description of the frequency of outdoor transmission.

But the number is almost certainly misleading....

It appears to be based partly on a misclassification of some Covid transmission that actually took place in enclosed spaces (as I explain below). An even bigger issue is the extreme caution of C.D.C. officials, who picked a benchmark — 10 percent — so high that nobody could reasonably dispute it.

That benchmark “seems to be a huge exaggeration,” as Dr. Muge Cevik, a virologist at the University of St. Andrews, said. In truth, the share of transmission that has occurred outdoors seems to be below 1 percent and may be below 0.1 percent, multiple epidemiologists told me. ...

They continue to treat outdoor transmission as a major risk. The C.D.C. says that unvaccinated people should wear masks in most outdoor settings and vaccinated people should wear them at “large public venues”; summer camps should require children to wear masks virtually “at all times.”

 These recommendations would be more grounded in science if anywhere close to 10 percent of Covid transmission were occurring outdoors. But it is not. There is not a single documented Covid infection anywhere in the world from casual outdoor interactions, such as walking past someone on a street or eating at a nearby table....

 “I’m sure it’s possible for transmission to occur outdoors in the right circumstances,” Dr. Aaron Richterman of the University of Pennsylvania told me, “but if we had to put a number on it, I would say much less than 1 percent.”

The CDC outdoor guidelines apparently rely on data from just Singapore.  Singapore reported 95 cases of outdoor Covid-19 transmission.  However, digging into the data revealed all 95 cases  came from Singapore construction sites. The outer shells at most of those sites were completed before the pandemic.  Thus most of the workers were probably laboring indoors. 

The 95 cases represented less than 1% of all Covid-19 cases in Singapore (cases, not deaths).  An Irish study placed the number of outdoor transmissions at less than 1% as well.  The Irish Times reported: 

Of the 232,164 cases of Covid-19 recorded in the State up to March 24th this year, 262 were as a result of outdoor transmission, representing 0.1 per cent of the total.

There were 42 outbreaks associated with outdoor gatherings, with one community outbreak accounting for seven cases.

This involved an outdoor work activity which took place between two separate families, according to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) which monitors case numbers in the Republic.

There were 21 outbreaks on construction sites with 124 cases, and 20 outbreaks associated with sporting activities and fitness in which there were 131 cases.....

 The relatively low numbers of cases resulting from outdoor transmission in the Republic is mirrored in international studies. A study of 1,245 cases in China found only three people were infected outdoors and they were in conversation without masks. According to a review by the University of California of five global studies of transmission, the chances of getting Covid-19 in an indoor setting is 19 times greater than outdoors... Rest of article.

SEC football fans should be ecstatic. 


Anonymous said...

“some studies suggest” “may occur”

Yep, sounds pretty concrete to me.

Anonymous said...

You seem to miss that we've not been having " up close",packed outdoor gatherings with no masks.

And, you ignore that the young likely had mild cases and didn't even bother to be tested when symptomatic or were asymptomatic.

That those of us who followed protocols and who have been vaccinated are a greater number than you think. And, the former supporters of Trump especially since seeing the Q's in action is far larger than you think. And, more than a few professionals and business people who ignored protocols may not yet realize how many clients, patients, and customers realized they can get services and goods elsewhere.

There's a reason the RNC didn't share the results of their surveys.

CDC Deep State said...

CDC = commie dictating center

Anonymous said...

Ole Miss is all too happy to still require masks. Went there for quick weekend trip to discover they require masks to be worn in the hot sun for tennis and baseball games. No thank you!

Anonymous said...

Practically everything the CDC has said has been proven to be wrong. Wait until they tell us the people that died after getting the jab didn’t die because they got the jab.

Anonymous said...

@12:26 I agree with the assessment that masks are not necessary outdoors, but your conclusion that words like "some studies suggest" and "may occur" show that you, like most people, expect too much from the scientific method. There are a vast number of variables that go into any study, and the observer can never be certain that these are accounted for. Thus words like "suggest" and "may." This is actually an attempt to lower the expectations for conclusions reached in such studies. Words like that do suggest, however, that some variables have been ruled out and confidence in the results of the study is increased. Science can only slowly and methodically approach the so-called "concrete" standard that you assume all scientific studies should immediately produce on complex topics.

Anonymous said...

USM sent this information to all faculty, staff, and students yesterday. I think the current Hattiesburg mask mandate by Toby Barker is scheduled to expire this Friday but I have every reason to suspect Toby is not going to completely lift it because of a social media comment that mentioned phasing out masks.

In accordance with evolving public health guidelines and the widespread availability of the COVID-19 vaccine, The University of Southern Mississippi’s COVID-19 protocols will be updated as follows, effective Monday, May 17, 2021.

• All students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to follow CDC and Mississippi State Department of Health guidelines.
• Face coverings will continue to be required for all in-person academic classes and required in-person class activities.
• Face coverings will be recommended but not required outside of official academic classes and class activities, including at public events such as performances, large group events, and orientation.
• Face coverings will be recommended but not required in individual office and office settings in which employees do not share space with others.
• Face coverings will be recommended but not required in public spaces such as libraries, lobbies, and dining spaces.
• Attendance at events in indoor and outdoor facilities will be required to follow all current state and local guidelines.
• Faculty and staff should consult with their Dean and/or Vice President as appropriate to determine requirements for special events.

These updated protocols remain subject to change, pending future public health guidance.

Anonymous said...

The vast majority of infections happened indoors at home, which is precisely where lockdowns put most people. If you read the article, you will see that “experts” think that it may be lower .1%. Even if it is just 1%, implying that it was 10% is fraud, a fraud that destroyed businesses, harmed our children and required sweeping allowances to our mail in voting process. We’ve been had.

Anonymous said...

Dear CDC and T Fauch- do us all a favor and jump off of a cliff.

Anonymous said...

1:55pm. Damn right. We have been had, and the kids have been had the most. The CDC could not be more unreliable. Anyone with a ounce of common sense knows the BS they are telling us is all mixed up in politics and controlling us, and not science.

Anonymous said...

Of course they exaggerated the incidence of outdoor transmission. People were having wildly popular political rallies, and they weren’t democrats.

Anonymous said...

I have not seen a mask in Hattiesburg for months. This is all just cya.

Anonymous said...

1:55. don’t forget about indoors at restaurants, bars, clubs. anywhere people have to take face coverings off.

apart from that, probably never a risk to get it. but too many people (like the gas and toilet paper hoarded) scream “freedoms” and “rights”

read the patriot act. enough said

Anonymous said...

@12:40 B.S. I went to Ole Miss baseball game on May 1. Didn't even take a mask. Very few around me were wearing masks either.

Anonymous said...

You are never gonna be told its OK to be normal again. As soon as this dies down to the point where it's looking slightly normal (no masks, no crowd restrictions, no BS social distancing, etc) there will be another one of these. I hate to say it but it was a great way to control and push us closer to a failed economy and socialism. I predict may of 2022. This will get us through another election with mail in voting. It's sad but true.

Anonymous said...

Watching generally uneducated Mississippians try to interpret medical studies and come up with competing bro science experiments has become a guilty pleasure. Keep bringing the funny guys.

Anonymous said...

2:41 PM, that's good to hear. Not trying to gaslight anyone but the tennis facility stopped my family and made them wear a mask outside. The UM Athletic Dept has a mask policy but perhaps it's not as tight at the baseball games. I don't care to find out either way.

MadisonRulz said...

Are there polls on CDC credibility? How can anyone take anything they or Fauci say seriously? They ceded credibility over a year ago when they said don't wear masks--just clean surfaces. Ass backwards and they knew it.

Masks outdoors were always stupid--even pre-vaccine. Masks indoors are stupid for people who've had the vaccine. If they want to up the vaccine rate, try telling the truth and tell people once you get the vaccine, you can trash the masks. A problem with lies is it becomes a habit that is tough to break.

CDC and Fauci are literally the boy who cried wolf.

And I voted for Biden and Hillary and don't get my news from Facebook or Fox--these opinions are my own.

Kingfish said...

And, you ignore that the young likely had mild cases and didn't even bother to be tested when symptomatic or were asymptomatic.

and you ignore the young had lower rates of transmission including spreading it to adults.

Anonymous said...

@3:26 pm

You hit the nail on the head. One problem with public health, or with going to the doctor, lawyer, CPA, or other professional, is that they really do their job. When lives are at stake, it's not bad to err on the side of caution. It's good.

I'm 76 years old and have lost several old friends during the last year or so. Two certainly were COVID related. Others, who knows. There are 12 ventilators in our county. One nice outbreak at the jail and they're all taken by prisoners. What happens when your little girl cracks her skull falling out of a tree, and needs help breathing during surgery?

Give me caution when it comes to public health. I like the Commie Dictating Center just fine.

Anonymous said...

2:38 Try entering Breadsmith. Talk about a little mask Nazi

Anonymous said...


I also lost friends (likely to Covid complications). And I support your right to choose to be cautious and restrict your exposure.

As a person of general good health, I would have enjoyed being able to decide for myself and my business what precautions made sense for us, while allowing us to maintain our livelihood.

But after watching the behavior of this species over the past 12 months, I feel my libertarian beliefs slipping away.

I genuinely want less government but I fear a growing majority of the population has become incapable of making reasonable life choices.

See also: Gasoline hoarders

Anonymous said...

No, KF, I didn't ignore ...we are likely defining the " young" differently. I'm thinking high school to college and you are thinking under 10.

I also think you and many of those commenting continue to forget that with a new virus, new research and information is not just daily, but hourly. And, holding CDC responsible without regard to timeline strikes me as unfair. I also respect that the CDC errs on the side of caution. I do. And, their history demonstrates that is a sound approach. It doesn't mean perfect.

Holding others up to standards of unrealistic perfection is silly to me. You have to measure in context of the body of wins/fails.

Let's see. How many deaths were we warned of early? Seems to me , if anything, they underestimated the virus that didn't magically go away as so many of you believe when Trump proclaimed it.

Anonymous said...

Could have stopped the headline with "CDC Blows"

The mask police has give people a small voice who would never be taken seriously otherwise. I made a mental note of the Karen's who were complete lunatics over the masks and will never step foot in their business' again.

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