CDC says coronavirus 'does not spread easily' on surfaces

Published: May. 20, 2020 at 10:24 PM CDT
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Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the big question has been how is the virus spreading?

The CDC website previously explained that the virus could spread from contaminated surfaces stating that 'spread from contact from contaminated surfaces may be possible'.

The updated site looks a bit different. The CDC is now saying that the virus 'does not spread easily in other ways'.

North Dakota Department of Health officials say that although the wording is different, the message is the same.

"I definitely think that that is something that was probably something that was just reworded to reassure the public that this is not a primary mode of transmission," said Levi Schlosser

Influenza Surveillance Coordinator at the North Dakota Department of Health. "Really the mode of transmission that we are concerned about, with all respiratory diseases, is through respiratory droplets and transmission between person to person."

The virus is still known to live on surfaces for hours and even days, however, experts say that isn't the main way it's spread.

"As you are touching other objects, doorknobs, and then particularly touching your face, we know that the virus gets in through our mucus membranes, your nose your mouth your eyes," said Dr. Richard Vetter

Chief Medical Officer of Essentia Health West. "That will facilitate the transmission."

Experts say that continuing to clean surfaces is a good idea, but keeping up with social distancing, along with other hygienic measures, is the most important part of keeping you safe.

"I would encourage people to continue to do those disinfecting activities, but again, I can't overemphasize the main one is good hand hygiene, good hand washing," Dr. Vetter said.

Dr. Vetter added that activities like singing, where respiratory droplets are propelled, had shown to spread the virus.

The CDC website also stated that the virus does not easily spread between animals to people or vice versa.