Many people have been anxious about catching COVID-19 through touching contaminated surfaces; now they can breathe a sigh of relief, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the U.S.in its updated guidelines has said that the virus does not spread easily in this way.
The CDC, however, continues to recommend that people clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily, wear cloth face coverings in public, and practice social distance and frequent hand washing, among other safeguards, according to the agency's website.
However, according to Yahoo, the study was not yet peer-reviewed at that time. Under a new heading "The virus does not spread easily in other ways" the agency explains that touching contaminated objects or surfaces does not appear to be a significant mode of transmission.
"New data on COVID-19 is available daily; information about its biological and epidemiological characteristics remain limited, and uncertainty remains around almost all parameter values", the CDC cautioned.
When infected people talk, cough or sneeze, they produce respiratory droplets that travel through the air around them.
While this information is not new, the new phrasing calls more attention to how the disease is not likely to spread.
The CDC provided the estimate in new guidance for mathematical modelers and public health officials to use.
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. "Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about six feet)", the new guidelines explained.
The previous advise had stated that it "may be possible" to catch Covid-19 from contaminated surfaces. There is no clarity as to when the agency made changes to the guidelines. "It may be possible for COVID-19 to spread in other ways, but these are not thought to be the main ways the virus spreads".
And if people find comfort in "quarantining" their mail or wiping down plastic packaging with disinfectant, "there's no harm in doing that", Rasmussen said.