The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have updated their guidance to note that the coronavirus “does not spread easily” from touching surfaces or objects.
The CDC lists touching surfaces and objects as one of three paths that do not easily spread the virus. (The other two are from animals to people and people to animals). The federal agency notes that people can get COVID-19 by touching an infected surface and then touching their mouth, nose or eyes, but it’s not the main way the virus spreads.
It just “does not spread easily” in that manner, the agency now says, nor by animal-to-human contact, or vice versa.
“COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning about how it spreads,” says the CDC’s recently updated guidelines. “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.”
The main way to prevent infection, the CDC says, is by practicing social distancing and staying at least 6 feet away from others, washing your hands with soap and water, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently-touched areas.
A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that coronavirus can live on some surfaces for up to three days and up to three hours in the air.
It can live up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to 2-3 days on plastic and stainless steel, according to the study.
The CDC, however, has said that catching the coronavirus from boxes delivered by Amazon or on your takeout food bag is highly unlikely “because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces.”
CDC has also said that all newborns delivered to women with Covid-19 infections, confirmed or suspected, should be tested.
Infants may be at a higher risk for severe forms of the disease, compared to older children, according to the CDC. But the data is still pretty limited, and what scientists know about these infections is based on a handful of case reports.
The CDC said babies are most likely exposed to the virus through respiratory droplets from their mom or from other caregivers or visitors. There are some limited reports that they may be exposed to the virus right before or even during labor, but the science on that is still unclear, the federal agency said.