UPDATED: CDC takes down COVID-19 holiday guidance page, says update coming soon


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday took down a page with holiday COVID-19 guidance, saying it was old information posted in error and that updated guidance would be coming soon.

The page, which had said that it was updated on Friday, gave a range of guidance on holiday gatherings, including that opening windows for indoor gatherings would improve ventilation, and noting that virtual or outdoor gatherings are the safest option.

The CDC said on Monday that the page was actually guidance from last year that was posted in error, and took it down.

An agency spokesperson said the page “doesn’t reflect the CDC’s guidance ahead of this upcoming holiday season,” and added that the agency “will share additional guidance soon.”

The episode added to confusion around guidance for the upcoming holidays amid a surge in cases of the delta variant, which is now subsiding somewhat.

Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, said Sunday on CBS that it is “too soon to tell” whether it is safe to hold gatherings for Christmas, drawing blowback from some Republicans.

Fauci said on Monday on CNN 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,” he said. “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.”

Celine Gounder, an infectious disease expert at New York University, tweeted Monday that rapid tests are a key tool that can enable safe holiday gatherings.

“Here’s what I would advise for the 2021 winter holiday season: #1, #2, #3 GET VACCINATED,” she wrote. “Have rapid COVID test kits on hand. Test [first] thing in the morning. If positive, isolate away from others. If negative, feel free to see family/friends.”

—Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story was based off the guidance incorrectly posted Monday by the CDC. This story was updated at 6:11 p.m. to reflect the CDC’s removal of those pandemic-related recommendations.

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