By Madeline Farber | Fox News
For those of you still wiping down groceries and other packages amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, breathe a sigh of relief: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now says the novel virus “does not spread easily” from “touching surfaces or objects” — but experts warn that doesn’t mean it’s no longer necessary to take “practical and realistic” precautions in stopping the spread of COVID-19.
Though it’s not exactly clear when, the federal health agency appears to have recently changed its guidelines from early March that simply said it “may be possible” to spread the virus from contaminated surfaces. The CDC now includes “surfaces or objects” under a section that details ways in which the coronavirus does not readily transmit.
Other ways in which the virus does not easily spread is from animals to people, or from people to animals, the federal agency said on its updated page.
“COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning about how it spreads. 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,” according to the CDC.
The CDC did, however, remind citizens that the virus does mainly spread person-to-person, noting the virus that causes a COVID-19 infection, SARS-CoV-2, “is spreading very easily and sustainably between people.”
Maintaining a “good social distance,” (keeping 6 feet away from others while in public), as well as washing hands often and “routinely” cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces are still listed as key precautions. (Getty Images)
More specifically, the agency said the virus primarily spreads from person-to-person in the following ways:
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet)
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs
- COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms
The change comes after a preliminary study from March suggested that the novel coronavirus can remain in the air for up to three hours, and live on surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel for up to three days, prompting many to take to wiping down packages and other items. However, at the time, the study was yet not peer-reviewed, and, as Yahoo notes, did not determine if people could be infected from touching certain surfaces analyzed.
Dr. John Whyte, the chief medical officer for the healthcare website WebMD, called the CDC’s changes an “important step in clarifying how the virus is spread, especially as we gain new information.”
“It also may help reduce anxiety and stress. Many people were concerned that by simply touching an object they may get coronavirus and that’s simply not the case. Even when a virus may stay on a surface, it doesn’t mean that it’s actually infectious,” Whyte told Fox News in an email.
The news comes after The Food and Drug Administration in mid-April issued a statement saying that there’s no need to wipe down food packaging after you’ve returned home from the grocery store. (Getty Images)
“I think this new guideline helps people understand more about what does and doesn’t increase risk. It doesn’t mean we stop washing hands and disinfecting surfaces. But it does allow us to be practical and realistic as we try to return to a sense of normalcy,” he added.
Dr. William Schaffner, the medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) and professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, echoed Whyte.
“The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person-to-person (within about 6 feet). Person-to-person contact is a highway. Touching infected surfaces are little paths, but they don’t carry the big viral traffic,” he told Fox News in an email. “To reduce the spread of COVID-19, the safest thing is to continue social distancing, wear masks, and wash hands frequently and thoroughly.”
Indeed, the CDC on its updated page reiterated important steps to take to prevent exposure to the virus. Maintaining a “good social distance,” (keeping 6 feet away from others while in public), as well as washing hands often and “routinely” cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces were listed as key precautions.
“I think this new guideline helps people understand more about what does and doesn’t increase risk. It doesn’t mean we stop washing hands and disinfecting surfaces. But it does allow us to be practical and realistic as we try to return to a sense of normalcy.”— Dr. John Whyte, chief medical officer of WebMD
The news comes after The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in mid-April issued a statement saying that there’s no need to wipe down food packaging after you’ve returned home from the grocery store.
“We want to reassure consumers that there is currently no evidence of human or animal food or food packaging being associated with transmission of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19,” the FDA said at the time.
A spokesperson for the CDC did not immediately return Fox News’s request for comment on Wednesday. Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News.
Affiliate News Feeds
- Washington Examiner
- The Federalist
- The Epoch Times
- The Guardian
- The Gateway Pundit
- Judicial Watch
By Patricia Tolson A new survey reveals that the majority of Americans do not trust the integrity of America’s elections. According to a poll conducted among likely General Election voters between Nov. 16–20… [...]
By Louise Chambers When her neighbor, a farmer, fell ill suddenly, a Minnesota teen volunteered to help him tend the land. The farmer was beyond grateful for the support, and the teen… [...]
EXCLUSIVE — U.S. air marshals are planning to stage an open rebellion against the Biden administration over a plan that would strip 99% of commercial flights from federal protection as… [...]
Attorneys general from 18 states are calling on UPS and FedEx to clarify their policies on shipping guns amid concerns about the companies being able to track gun owners without… [...]
Politico should have done far better than stating opinion as fact and blithely ignoring concerns that medical experts have raised. [...]
What the Rhine case reveals is the danger that a partnership between an equally politicized federal government and Big Tech presents to disfavored groups. [...]
The U.S. Senate on Nov. 29 approved the “Respect for Marriage Act,” with a dozen Republicans crossing the aisle to vote yes. See below how each senator voted for the… [...]
Guardian unpicks complex web of investment firms, wealth funds and tax haven-based businesses that own most of sectorEngland’s water: the world’s piggy bankCan global water investors be held to account?England’s… [...]
Former lady-in-waiting to queen issues apology after Ngozi Fulani questioned over where her ‘people’ came fromThe late queen’s lady-in-waiting has resigned and apologised after a black guest at a reception… [...]
Surveillance video released this week shows a gunman ambush an on duty Philadelphia Parking Authority officer in the Frankford neighborhood, shooting him in the head in an attempted execution last… [...]
Even Democrats believe that the election in Arizona was a mess that impacted the outcome of the election. Maricopa was a royal mess. We all know it. A new Rasmussen… [...]
Though years ago India passed a sweeping law giving transgender people rights—and prohibiting discrimination in education, employment, and healthcare—the Biden administration is spending American taxpayer dollars to counter stigma and… [...]
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for all communications between the Secret… [...]