Does Disinfecting Surfaces Still Matter?

News Team's picture
By News Team on December 3, 2020

With so much focus on staying home when possible, remaining socially distant with others and wearing masks when in public, is it still important to disinfect surfaces to prevent the spread of coronavirus?

Yes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
 
As winter sets in and we spend more of our time inside with windows and doors closed against the cold, the virus has more opportunity to land—and stay—on counters, door handles and other shared surfaces.
 
According to the CDC, while the coronavirus spreads most commonly through respiratory droplets, those breathed-out, coughed-out, sung-out droplets can also land on surfaces and objects and be transferred by touch.
 
In general, indoor environments without good ventilation increase this risk.
 
The CDC offers guidance on choosing and using disinfectants for hard surfaces, rugs and upholstery, electronics, laundry—and your hands.
 
Yes, according to the Virginia Department of Health.
 
VDH offers additional tips on cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, such as phones, keyboards, bathroom and kitchen surfaces, tables and cabinet pulls, light switches and doorknobs.
 
Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work, and VDH offers tips for making your own disinfectant at home:

  • Use diluted household bleach solutions if appropriate for the surface: 5 tablespoons bleach (1/3 cup) per gallon of water
  • Use soap and water
  • Use an alcohol solution with at least 60% alcohol.

And remember: Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.

Yes, according to Carilion Clinic’s infectious diseases experts.

Anthony Baffoe-Bonnie, M.D., medical director of Carilion Clinic Infection Prevention and Control, reminds us that prevention starts before we touch the surfaces in our home. 

“The best way to prevent the virus from spreading in your home is to prevent it from entering your home in the first place,” he said.
 
The essential guidelines for prevention are the same as they have always been:

  • Stay home as much as possible
  • Practice social distancing by staying at least six feet from others, avoiding crowds and mass gatherings and limiting close contact with anyone not in your household
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, and with alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available
  • Wear a mask whenever you are in public places, such as a grocery store or gas station

And regularly clean the frequently used surfaces in your vehicle, home and work area.

Visit CarilionClinic.org/coronavirus to see the ways we're responding to the virus, and browse the Carilion Living coronavirus library for more information from our experts.

gif illustration indicating flu vaccine injection with CTA to share on Instagram
Already got your shot? Help us spread the word with a sticker and a selfie! All you have to do is take a selfie, use one of our Giphy Instagram stickers and tag us in your Instagram story!
See us safely at CarilionClinic.org/safe.
As always, and like never before, we're here to see you safely through all your health care needs. Visit CarilionClinic.org/safe to learn how. For up-to-date information about our response to COVID-19, visit CarilionClinic.org/coronavirus.