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UPDATE: CDC Deletes Guidance Urging Americans to Open Windows, Use Fans for Indoor Holiday Gatherings

AP Photo/David Goldman, File

Update: An earlier version of this story was based on guidance that was mistakenly posted Monday by the CDC. This story was updated at 8:00 p.m. to reflect the removal of these recommendations.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention initially updated its guidance to recommend that people open windows and use fans at holiday gatherings to increase ventilation in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

However, the agency later took down its new recommendation and said that it was guidance from last year that was posted by mistake.

"The content is in the process of being updated by CDC to reflect current guidance ahead of this holiday season," CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said in a statement. "The page had a technical update on Friday, but doesn’t reflect the CDC’s guidance ahead of this upcoming holiday season. CDC will share additional guidance soon."

The CDC's deleted post, in addition to ventilation recommendations, also discouraged people from having any indoor gatherings.

"Attending gatherings to celebrate events and holidays increases your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19," the CDC said. "The safest way to celebrate is virtually, with people who live with you, or outside and at least 6 feet apart from others."

And while the CDC's removed guidance recommended avoiding indoor gatherings altogether as Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas approach, it acknowledged that such guidance may not be followed, and thus, encouraged efforts to increase air flow.

"If celebrating indoors, bring in fresh air by opening windows and doors, if possible," the CDC says. "You can use a window fan in one of the open windows to blow air out of the window. This will pull fresh air in through the other open windows."


The CDC also emphasized in its since-deleted guidance that vaccinated individuals are more protected than those who are not. However, vaccinated people people were still encouraged to wear masks indoors in public spaces and in areas with higher levels of COVID-19 transmission.

On Sunday, White House Chief Medical Advisor Anthony Fauci said during an appearance on CBS's "Face the Nation" that it is "too soon to tell" if Americans should gather for Christmas.

"We've just got to concentrate on continuing to get those numbers down and not try to jump ahead by weeks or months and say what we're going to do at a particular time," Fauci said.

However, he said Monday that his comments were "misinterpreted."

"The best way to assure that we'll be in good shape as we get into the winter would be to get more and more people vaccinated," Fauci told CNN. "That was misinterpreted as my saying we can't spend Christmas with our families, which was absolutely not the case. I will be spending Christmas with my family, I encourage people, particularly the vaccinated people who are protected, to have a good, normal Christmas with your family."

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