The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently updated its guidance to say there is no significant risk of getting the novel coronavirus from surfaces.

CDC updated surface guidance

The CDC said people generally don’t get COVID-19 from touching surfaces. People generally get COVID-19 from direct contact with someone who is infected or through airborne transmission.

  • “It is possible for people to be infected through contact with contaminated surfaces or objects (fomites), but the risk is generally considered to be low,” the CDC said in its updated guidelines.
Do you wipe down your groceries because of coronavirus? You may want to focus on something else

The CDC said a thorough cleaning or scrub will be enough to remove the novel coronavirus from surfaces, too, according to ABC News.

  • “Routine cleaning performed effectively with soap or detergent, at least once per day, can substantially reduce virus levels on surfaces,” the CDC said, per ABC News.
  • CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said “disinfection is only recommended in indoor-setting schools and homes where there has been a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, within the last 24 hours.”

Fears of COVID-19 and surfaces

Research released early in the coronavirus pandemic suggested that COVID-19 could live on surfaces for days, which prompted fears that touching surfaces, Amazon packages and groceries could lead to the spread of the virus, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

This study explains how long coronavirus lives on plastic, steel and copper

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in October that the coronavirus spreading on surfaces was not thought to be a common way of spreading the virus, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

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The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson wrote extensively about this subject back in February, explaining how hygiene theater is a waste of time. He explained that companies and businesses added hand sanitizers, cleaning methods and more to give off the impression that they were ridding the business of COVID-19. But really, infection from surfaces was highly unlikely.

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