CDC updates guidance on how COVID-19 spreads
By Mackenzie Bean
The CDC updated its guidance on COVID-19 transmission May 7, underscoring that the virus spreads via small respiratory droplets and particles in the air.
The new guidance explicitly states that the SARS-CoV-2 virus can be inhaled even when you are more than 6 feet away from an infected person. The CDC previously said most infections were contracted through “close contact, not airborne transmission”.
The agency also said transmission can occur through contact with contaminated surfaces or by touching the eyes, nose or mouth with hands that have the virus on them, though this mode of transmission is more uncommon.
To view the updated guidance, click here.
Cleaning with a household cleaner that contains soap or detergent reduces the amount of germs on surfaces and decreases risk of infection from surfaces. In most situations, cleaning alone removes most virus particles on surfaces. Disinfection to reduce transmission of COVID-19 at home is likely not needed unless someone in your home is sick or if someone who is positive for COVID-19 has been in your home within the last 24 hours.
When and how to clean surfaces in your home
- Clean high-touch surfaces regularly (for example, daily) and after you have visitors in your home.
- Focus on high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, tables, handles, light switches, and countertops.
- Clean other surfaces in your home when they are visibly dirty or as needed.
- Clean them more frequently if people in your household are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. You might also choose to disinfect.
- Clean surfaces using a product suitable for each surface, following instructions on the product label.
Reduce contamination of surfaces
Take steps in your home to limit contamination of surfaces from airborne particles or from touching surfaces with contaminated hands.
- Ask unvaccinated visitors to wear masks.
- Follow guidance for fully vaccinated people before inviting visitors to your home.
- Isolate people who are sick with COVID-19.
- Have everyone in your household wash hands often, especially when returning from outside activities.