According to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it may not be necessary to continually wipe down surfaces and objects to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The CDC's informational page about how the coronavirus spreads was updated to state that it does not spread easily from touching surfaces or objects.
When the virus first started spreading around the world, health officials were trying to understand how it spread and warned people that it could survive on certain surfaces. They cautioned that if somebody touched a surface contaminated with the virus and then touched their face or mouth, they could get infected.
That resulted in people using disinfecting wipes to clean everything from mail and packages to items they just bought at the grocery store.
As researchers have learned more about the virus, they discovered that it mostly spreads from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. While it is still possible to contract it from certain surfaces, the chances are very slim.
"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. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about this virus," the CDC wrote.
NBC News medical correspondent Dr. John Torres said that the best way to stop the spread of the virus is by continuing to practice social distancing and by wearing a mask when going out in public.
"In other words, we don't touch something, then touch our faces and get it as easily, although we can still get it that way," Torres said. "The main focus needs to be on that social distancing, wearing masks, because getting it through respiratory droplets ... is the No. 1 way we get it."
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