DENVER (KDVR) — 2020 has been the year of disinfectant wipes and endless cleaning as people tried to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Looking forward to next year, many people are wondering if that is necessary.
Dr. Michelle Barron, the senior medical director of infection prevention at UCHealth, says surface cleaning has plenty of health benefits, but the primary transmission of the coronavirus is droplets in the air.
“When you are in proximity to (infectious) individuals and you are not wearing a mask, that’s the most likely way you are going to actually acquire this. There’s probably still some component of surface contamination, but not to the extent that I think they were concerned about early on,” Dr. Barron said.
Disinfecting high-touch areas is a good habit, she says, but, “…to the extent where people were taking their boxes and leaving them in the garage, and then pouring bleach on them, that’s probably no longer a thing that’s necessary, or probably was ever necessary,” Dr. Barron said.
“There’s not data to support wiping down everything,” said Sydney Henderson, an infection preventionist at Presbyterian St. Lukes Medical Center in Denver.
But Henderson hopes that people will continue to wash their hands and wipe down high-touch areas like cell phones, door handles and keyboards.
“You can stop wiping down your groceries, wiping down packages that you receive in the mail. But please do not stop wearing your mask. Do not stop socially distancing. Do not stop avoiding crowds, and do not stop washing your hands and disinfecting high-touch surfaces,” Henderson said.
“Just because the virus might not necessarily be viable on surfaces for very long, there still is no such thing as zero risk,” she added.
Plus, these practices can help prevent other illnesses.