The CDC says the risk of COVID-19 transmission via surfaces is low and frequent disinfection practices using common household chemicals pose a danger and may amount to “hygiene theater,” according to a CNN report.
“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 on a CDC-sponsored telephone briefing.
So while keeping surfaces clean is not a waste of time, it’s not the only way or even the most important way to reduce risks, the CDC said. It’s updated its guidance for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces in community settings in light of this transmission risk.
Frequent cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces may have minimal impact on viral transmission and contribute to “hygiene theater,” he added. “Putting on a show” to clean and disinfect “may be used to give people a sense of security that they are being protected from the virus, but this may be a false sense of security, if other prevention measures like wearing masks, physical distancing, and hand hygiene are not being consistently performed,” Hill said.