The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently updated its website concerning the spread of the coronavirus, stating that it "does not spread easily" by touching contaminated surfaces. However, its safety guidelines remain on the cautious side, continuing to recommend frequent sanitization of high-touch areas.
The CDC's breakdown of how the virus seems to spread explains that the most common means of transmission is directly person-to-person. The agency listed contact with contaminated surfaces and between people and animals as ways people are less likely to contract the virus, though "it may be possible."
On its page for household cleaning, the CDC further says that transmission of the virus from contaminated surfaces to people "has not been documented."
The agency shares that the virus can remain alive on surfaces for hours or days, depending on the material, and that potentially contaminated surfaces should be cleaned to reduce risk.
However, the website states that respiratory droplets in the air is the most common and risky contaminant. The CDC says it is unclear how long the virus can remain in the air following the presence of an infected person, sharing that it depends on factors such as the size of the room and air ventilation.
After months of monitoring the virus in the U.S., the top three recommendations from the CDC for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 is to maintain six feet of distance between yourself and others, wash your hands often, and frequently clean high-touch surfaces.
For more information, visit cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/.