CDC finds low risk of COVID-19 transmission on surfaces
More than a year into the pandemic, and establishments continue to tout their cleaning protocols as a way to prove how safe it is to, say, eat in a restaurant, go to the store, or ride the subway. New guidance released by the CDC Monday ought to put that so-called “hygiene theater” to rest.
According to the guidance, the risk of getting a COVID-19 infection from contaminated surfaces is extremely low.
The principal mode by which people are infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus is through exposure to respiratory droplets, the CDC said.
How low? While not impossible, the agency said the risk of infection through fomites is “generally less than 1 in 10,000.”
“There is little scientific support for routine use of disinfectants in community settings, whether indoor or outdoor, to prevent SARS-CoV-2 transmission from fomites,” the agency said. “In public spaces and community settings, available epidemiological data … indicate that the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission from fomites is low—compared with risks from direct contact, droplet transmission or airborne transmission.”