When infected people talk, cough or sneeze, they produce respiratory droplets that travel through the air around them.
CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said Thursday that the revisions were the product of an internal review and "usability testing".
But it's more important to avoid indoor gatherings, where an asymptomatic person could easily spread the virus, he said.
According to the CDC, at least 26 people were confirmed to have COVID-19 after having contact with those who had been infected at the church events, with one of those 26 having died from the virus. A spokesman told NPR on Friday that "our transmission language has not changed".
When the virus first started spreading around the world, health officials were trying to understand how it spread and warned people that it could survive on certain surfaces.
With a potential vaccine projected to still be many months away, the CDC is still recommending that individuals avoid group gatherings, wash their hands often, practice social distancing, and cover their nose and mouth with a mask or facial covering.
The virus can spread among those in close contact of roughly 6 feet, the CDC said.
For some who are infected, it can take up to 14 days for those symptoms to appear, meaning that they can be spreading the virus unknowingly for days or even up to two weeks before they start to feel sick. But the virus typically degrades within hours when outside a host.
The CDC clarified that it changed the site to improve its organization.
"A persistent problem in this pandemic has been lack of clear messaging from governmental leadership, and this is another unfortunate example of that trend", she said. Fox News commentator Sean Hannity breathlessly promoted a "breaking" report about the change, as though the CDC had discovered new information.
"It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes", the CDC states.
But the new guidelines, issued this week, said "this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads". "However, it doesn't mean you still shouldn't be cleaning the surfaces, shouldn't be disinfecting the surfaces well". "Just don't wipe down food with disinfectant".