Limited Value in Cleaning Surfaces to Disinfect for COVID-19

April 20, 2021
Contagion Editorial Team

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that doing so offers very little in terms of protecting against transmission of the airborne virus.

The CDC announced yesterday that disinfecting surfaces offer little value for the prevention of COVID-19.

"CDC determined that the risk of surface transmission is low, and secondary to the primary routes of virus transmission through direct contact droplets and aerosols," Vincent Hill, chief of the Waterborne Disease Prevention Branch, said.

His remarks came during a CDC briefing in Monday. Hill also said the risk of transmission is low for touching surfaces, but at a higher level of risk indoors in the absence of sunlight and other factors

The CDC went on to say COVID-19 does not last on porous surfaces, but can last longer on hard indoor surfaces, according to a report on CNN.

In a study conducted last year by CDC, National Institutes of Health (NIH), UCLA, and Princeton University investigated how long the virus remained infectious on different surfaces. The investigators found that SARS-CoV-2 is detectable in aerosols for up to 3 hours, on copper up to 4 hours, up to 24 hours on cardboard, and up to 3 days on plastic and stainless steel.

With this widely viewed for sometime as a virus spread through airborne transmission, efforts to prevent it by masking, good indoor air circulation, and social distancing remain important efforts, and one new study shows the aforementioned first two may be of greater importance.

In a study done by the University of Central Florida, investigators’ findings suggest good ventilation and masks are significantly more important in reducing the airborne spread of COVID-19 than social distancing. The constant current of airflow caused by the ventilation system forces the air to circulate and be processed through an air filter, which removes a portion of the aerosols. The findings are in line with recent recommendations from the CDC.

As the US continues to ramp up its COVID-19 vaccine efforts, it is important to follow the latest CDC guidelines to protect against the virus.