It is now confirmed that coronavirus has the ability to spread through the air indoors. The AP reports that two scientists — from the United States and Australia — issued an open letter to the World Health Organization, urging that airborne spread of Covid-19 be seriously acknowledged. Over 200 other scientists backed the letter, which states that many studies have show "beyond any reasonable doubt that viruses are released during exhalation, talking and coughing in microdroplets small enough to remain aloft in the air."
The AP notes that WHO had long dismissed the possibility that the deadly virus is capable of spreading through the air. The one exception to the organization's stance was in some specific medical procedures, such as when a patient is first being put on a breathing machine. Now, WHO is recognizing that there is credibility to studies that have determined Covid-19 likely spread through the air in cases where outbreaks started indoors at places such restaurants, fitness classes and choir practices. WHO stated that airborne spread “particularly in specific indoor locations, such as crowded and inadequately ventilated spaces over a prolonged period of time with infected persons cannot be ruled out."
While potential airborne transmission of the virus is a fairly new discovery, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention previously reported that Covid-19 is not believed to spread easily from surfaces. In regards to the chances of an individual contracting Covid-19, the CDC stated that "it may be possible" but "this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads." The CDC explained that human-to-human spread is, by far, the most common way. "How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious, like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, which means it goes from person-to-person without stopping," the department stated.
The CDC went on to say that "the virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading very easily and sustainably between people." Based on the "information from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic" the CDC says there is sufficient evidence to "suggest that this virus is spreading more efficiently than influenza, but not as efficiently as measles, which is highly contagious." Regarding "person-to-person" spread of coronavirus, the CDC stated that it typically takes place "between people who are in close contact with one another" by way of "respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks."