If you're still obsessively wiping down your counters, doorknobs, and other frequently touched surfaces on a daily basis, we have some good news.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has just revealed that new data suggests COVID-19 "does not spread easily" from "touching surfaces or objects."
Of course, people should still take precaution as they see fit. Healthy hygiene is still encouraged.
But fortunately, the virus does not spread easily on objects or surfaces, the CDC claims.
This means that the primary concern would be human-to-human transmission.
More details on this reversal of advice below:
On March 28, the CDC website said, "It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes."
Now, however, the CDC is saying that COVID-19 "does not spread easily" from contaminated surfaces.
This has frustrated many people who are told to trust the experts.
The sudden change in language seems similar to the WHO's claim that human-to-human transmission was not possible.
Of course, human-to-human spread is the most prevelant way COVID-19 is transmitted.
Fox News confirms the CDC's new statement:
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.
Although when the change was made is not currently clear, the federal health agency appears to have subtly shifted its guidelines from March which simply said it “may be possible” to spread the virus from contaminated surfaces.
"It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes," the CDC said on a now-archived page from March 28. At the time, however, the CDC did note that this possible method of transmission "is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads."
Even so, 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.”
Many people took to social media to complain of expert whiplash.
It seems that every few days or weeks, the experts do a complete 180 on the guidance or information they've given to the public.
First, we were told that masks were unnecessary.
Now, everyone is encouraged to where a mask.
First, we were told that flattening the curve was about making sure the health care system wasn't overrun.
Now that the healthcare system is clearly NOT overrun, Democrats are pushing for indefinite lockdown!
Though the virus doesn't spread easily on surfaces, people are encouraged to still continue cleaning.
It's important to emphasize while it's unlikely to get COVID-19 from a contaminated surface, it doesn't mean it's impossible.
The Boston Globe reports:
According to CDC guidance updated on its site Wednesday, the virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person.
The spread is believed to occur mainly “through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes,” the site says. “These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).”
The CDC, however, continues to recommend that people clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily, wear cloth face coverings in public, and practice social distance and frequent hand washing, among other safeguards, according to the agency’s website.
The frequently touched surfaces to clean include “tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks,” the CDC site says.
COVID-19 is still an extremely new virus, which means that scientists and researchers are still discovering more about how it works and spreads.
The reversal isn't necessarily a surprise...
But it suggests that people, not the experts, should be allowed to assess their own risk tolerance for safely opening up the economy now that we know more about the virus.