Why These Tiny Particles Are A Big Deal : Short Wave For much of the pandemic, some scientists had been pushing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to recognize that the coronavirus is spread through aerosols--very small particles that can linger in the air. The CDC did that this month, so we brought Senior Science Correspondent Maria Godoy onto the show to explain the distinction, and the implications for staying safe during the pandemic.

Is the constant refining of the science behind the coronavirus leaving you confused? Send us your questions at shortwave@npr.org and we might answer them on a future episode.
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Why These Tiny Particles Are A Big Deal

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Why These Tiny Particles Are A Big Deal

Why These Tiny Particles Are A Big Deal

Why These Tiny Particles Are A Big Deal

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Participants wearing FFP2 protective face masks take part in the RESTART-19 Covid transmission risk assessment study in a concert setting at an indoor arena during the coronavirus pandemic. Sean Gallup/Getty Images hide caption

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Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Participants wearing FFP2 protective face masks take part in the RESTART-19 Covid transmission risk assessment study in a concert setting at an indoor arena during the coronavirus pandemic.

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

For much of the pandemic, some scientists have been pushing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to recognize that the coronavirus is spread through aerosols--very small particles that can linger in the air. They did that this month, which left us with the question: How does this change the precautions we're already taking in our daily lives?

To clear it all up, we brought Senior Science Science Correspondent Maria Godoy onto the show to explain the distinction, and the implications for staying safe during the pandemic. While there are additional steps one can take to make sure you and your loved ones maintain as low a risk as possible (think air filters and open windows), it's as important as ever to always wear a mask, wash your hands, maintain distance and keep those hands clean.

Check out these additional resources:

Is the constant refining of the science behind the coronavirus leaving you confused? Drop us a line at shortwave@npr.org and we might answer your question on a future episode.

This episode was produced by Rebecca Ramirez and edited by Gisele Grayson. Berly McCoy and Maddie Sofia checked the facts.