CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky explains that surface transmission is highly unlikely and other health experts note there has yet to be a case where someone contracted the virus by touching something.
“People can be affected with the virus that causes COVID-19 through contact with contaminated surfaces and objects,” the CDC Director said this week but stressed, “However, evidence has demonstrated that the risk by this route of infection of transmission is actually low.”
Just how low is this risk?
"Findings of these studies suggest that the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection via the fomite transmission route is low, and generally less than 1 in 10,000, which means that each contact with a contaminated surface has less than a 1 in 10,000 chance of causing an infection," the CDC stated.
Airborne viruses expert Linsey Marr tells The New York Times, "We’ve known this for a long time and yet people are still focusing so much on surface cleaning...There’s really no evidence that anyone has ever gotten COVID-19 by touching a contaminated surface.”
Microbiologist Emanuel Goldman added, “This is a virus you get by breathing. It’s not a virus you get by touching.”
The CDC advises, "In most situations, cleaning surfaces using soap or detergent, and not disinfecting, is enough to reduce risk." Adding, "Disinfection is recommended in indoor community settings where there has been a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 within the last 24 hours. The risk of fomite transmission can be reduced by wearing masks consistently and correctly, practicing hand hygiene."