CDC Changes COVID Guidelines For Cleaning, Disinfecting Homes

Erin Hassanzadeh explains the latest advice for cleaning and disinfecting our homes (1:58). WCCO 4 News At 10 - April 7, 2021

Video Transcript

FRANK VASCELLARO: When the pandemic began, stores quickly ran out of disinfecting wipes and household cleaners.

AMELIA SANTANIELLO: But now, experts say that the risk for catching COVID from surfaces is low. New at 10:00, Erin Hassanzadeh explains the latest advice for cleaning and disinfecting our homes.

ERIN HASSANZADEH: Let's say your keys are contaminated with COVID-19. It's possible to get the virus by touching them, then your face, but the CDC says it's rare.

FRANK RHAME: It's become gradually clearer and clearer that airborne droplets account for most of the transmissions.

ERIN HASSANZADEH: For perspective, the CDC says studies estimate each time you touch a contaminated surface, your chances of getting infected are less than one in 10,000, which is why it now says cleaning high touch surfaces once a day with regular soap or cleaner should be enough.

FRANK RHAME: If you look at that guidance, it doesn't say surfaces make no difference, it says that they're not as important, and that for most surfaces, standard soap and water once a day are good enough.

ERIN HASSANZADEH: Remember when some of us were wiping down our groceries? And maybe you still are, but do you have to?

FRANK RHAME: I wouldn't do it ordinarily.

ERIN HASSANZADEH: Whether it's your groceries or something else in your home, the CDC says disinfecting likely isn't necessary unless there's a suspected or known exposure or case. It actually warns against using disinfectants made for hard surfaces, like bleach, on plastic or cardboard food packaging.

FRANK RHAME: That stuff hasn't been touched in a while by someone who's likely to have COVID.

ERIN HASSANZADEH: But COVID precautions are curbing other things, like the flu. Doctors don't know if it's the distancing, handwashing, masking, or disinfecting that's helping the most, but our efforts are protecting against more than just COVID-19. Erin Hassanzadeh, WCCO 4 News.

AMELIA SANTANIELLO: The CDC says the most reliable way to prevent infection from surfaces is to regularly wash your hands or use hand sanitizer. You may want to clean or disinfect more if someone in your home is high risk.