Coronavirus doesn’t spread as easily on surfaces as we thought

  • Coronavirus particles may linger on surfaces but aren’t always infectious
  • Person-to-person contact is far more prevalent as a method of spread
  • Two months into the pandemic, the CDC reassessed its original claim

In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, one of the most common warnings from the CDC was that it could “possibly” spread on nonporous surfaces, like desks, counters, and rails.

But that might not be the case after all. 

While coronavirus particles definitely stay on nonporous surfaces for a long period of time, they may not be infectious, per the guidelines on COVID-19 spread from the CDC that were updated in May. 

These guidelines indicate that this is not the main way the virus spreads. What is more effective for viral spread is person-to-person contact, such as being within six feet of someone who is sick, being sneezed on, and other common forms of contact.

John Whyte, the chief medical officer for WebMD, told Fox News that this clarification in the virus’ spread may be beneficial to the mental health of those overwhelmed by coronavirus precautions. 

“Many people were concerned that by simply touching an object they may get coronavirus and that’s simply not the case,” Whyte said. “Even when a virus may stay on a surface, it doesn’t mean that it’s actually infectious.”

Sources: USA Today, CDC, CDC Archive, Fox News

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