CDC says disinfecting surfaces ‘typically not necessary’ to prevent spread of COVID

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Photo: Elaine Smith

The risk of spreading COVID-19on surfaces is low, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised.

“CDC determined that the risk of surface transmission is low, and secondary to the primary routes of virus transmission through direct contact droplets and aerosols,” Vincent Hill, chief of the Waterborne Disease Prevention Branch, said on a CDC-sponsored telephone briefing Monday.

While the risk of transmitting the disease from touching surfaces is small, that risk is elevated indoors. Hill said the risk is far lower outdoors, where the sun and other factors can destroy viruses. 

The most recent guidance from the CDC says disinfection to reduce the spread of COVID is “likely not needed” unless someone in the household is sick or if someone who tested positive for the virus had been in the household in the past 24 hours. 

“In most situations, cleaning surfaces using soap or detergent, and not disinfecting, is enough to reduce the already low risk of virus transmission through surfaces,” Hill said. “Disinfecting surfaces is typically not necessary, unless a sick person or someone positive for Covid-19 has been in the home within the last 24 hours.”

You can read the full guidance here

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