CDC says COVID-19 is airborne, but the president says don’t be afraid

WATCH: Health leaders say make smart decisions when it comes to protecting yourself against COVID-19

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The coronavirus is airborne according to the CDC, but do you need to worry?

Monday, President Donald Trump tweeted “Don’t be afraid of COVID.”

But the CDC says COVID can spread through tiny airborne particles and linger in the air for minutes or hours.

Content Continues Below

“This just puts in writing what most of us anticipated based on other respiratory diseases,” said Shelby County Health Director Alisa Haushalter. “The chances are higher indoors in poorly ventilated spaces that often involve heavier breathing.”

Local health experts are encouraging people to be selective about the places they go and say people with underlying health issues should be especially cautious.

But things became confusing when Trump said “Don’t be afraid of COVID. Don’t let it dominate your life.”

“If the individual has a chronic illness, over 55 they really need to consider where they go,” said Haushalter.

The main way the virus spreads remains the same - from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.

For the latest on coronavirus, stream FOX13 News on FOX13 Memphis Now – it’s free on your Roku, Amazon Fire or Apple TV as well as your FOX13 News App. You can also follow FOX13 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.