Parks and playgrounds have been shuttered while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to recommend that masks be worn outdoors in many situations, even by people who are vaccinated.
But “the science” upon which those guidelines are based apparently is far from reality, according to a New York Times report.
The CDC has estimated that the risk of COVID-19 transmission while outdoors is about 10%. But the true figure may be less than 1% — and possibly even less than 0.1%.
If it is 0.1%, that means the CDC’s estimate was 100 times too high.
The Times reported the 10% figure is based “partly on a misclassification” of some virus transmission from a study. Some of the settings classified as outdoor, such as construction sites, actually were a mix of both outdoor and indoor.
On Tuesday, CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky was confronted by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, regarding the Times report. The senator noted it was another example of conflicting and confusing guidance, along with recommendations related to school reopenings and summer camps.
Walensky explained that the 10% benchmark was derived from a study published in the Journal of Infectious Disease in November that synthesized various studies.
A CDC official told the Times there are limited data on outdoor transmission.