DORAVILLE, Ga., May 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Throughout the pandemic, the world has focused heavily on disinfecting surfaces — but the latest CDC guidance reveals this shouldn't be the top priority. When it comes to beating COVID, businesses and individuals alike must focus on mitigating the risk of airborne transmission.
In a recent interview with CNN, CDC representative Vincent Hill, Chief of the Waterborne Disease Prevention Branch, made it clear that surface disinfection just isn't as important as once believed. According to the CDC's recently updated (April 5) guidance on COVID spread, "surface transmission is not the main route by which SARS-CoV-2 spreads, and the risk is considered to be low." In fact, the CDC states "contact with a contaminated surface has less than a 1 in 10,000 chance of causing an infection."
Those odds are just slightly higher than your lifetime risk of being struck by lightning (1 in 15,300). Despite these low odds, many don't seem to be making major changes to their infection prevention protocols. So, why are people still so focused on surface scrubbing?
Hill states that the aggressive tactics to disinfect surfaces may actually do more harm than good, an act of "hygiene theater." Adhering to rigorous surface disinfection protocols may give people a "false sense of security," Hill said — especially if other, more effective measures aren't being taken, like hand washing, mask wearing and mitigating airborne spread.
The CDC's COVID guidance states in no uncertain terms that mitigating the risk of airborne transmission is key: "The principal mode by which people are infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) is through exposure to respiratory droplets carrying infectious virus." How should this information change our infection prevention protocols?
It's time to change the way we think about indoor hygiene. As Bloomberg so aptly states: "Ask for Air Filters, Not Bleach." We've taken rigorous action to eliminate the invisible threats that live on surfaces — but what about the ones hanging in the air?
According to Harvard Medical School, infectious COVID particles can float or drift around in the air for up to three hours. The path forward is clear: Air filtration with proven quality, backed by thorough testing, must be a top priority. Without this, no infection prevention protocol can be considered complete or effective.
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*Laboratory testing demonstrated 99.999% reduction of aerosols carrying MS2. Copies of the full test reports are available upon request