If your social routine has involved copious amounts of takeout and some Amazon deliveries to your doorstep, then you might have at some point wondered — Imagine if the delivery (Hence, why social distancing is so important.)
But, they have not ruled out the chance that someone could find the virus from touching something that’s been infected and then touching their own mouth, eyes or nose.
Family medicine physician Neha Vyas, MD, sheds some light on what we do and do not know up to now about how the 2019 novel coronavirus resides on surfaces, and what you can do to minimize your risk in your home.
How long can the 2019 novel coronavirus live on surfaces?
A: A yet-to-be-published study conducted by scientists from the CDC, National Institutes of Health and other institutions suggests that the 2019 novel coronavirus can live for two to three days on plastic.
With that in mind, it is a fantastic idea to keep your house clean in this time. And if someone in your household is ill, it is particularly important to disinfect high-touch surfaces on your household daily. Including doorknobs, handles, countertops, tables, keyboards and light switches.
Is my food safe?
A: The 2019 novel coronavirus causes respiratory disease, not foodborne disease — meaning it affects the lungs, not the digestive system. Food and Drug Administration, there is no reason to believe that the virus was spread through food or food packaging.
But officials still urge all to follow basic food safety guidelines that involve washing your hands before preparing or eating meals, using clean utensils, and properly preparing and storing food. Restaurants and delivery services must also be following safe food preparation and handling practices.
What about that bundle that just arrived on my doorstep?
A: While that formerly mentioned, not-yet-published research revealed that the virus can live for up to 24 hours cardboard, the CDC asserts that chances are low that the virus spreads from packaging that is sent over a period of days at ambient temperatures.
Can the virus be spread through water?
A: There is no evidence the virus which causes COVID-19 could be spread through drinking water or use of pools or hot tubs, according to the CDC.
Can the virus live on my clothes?
A: Specific research has not been done on how long this virus can survive on clothing, towels or other cloths. The CDC recommends using the warmest appropriate water setting to your clothes and drying them entirely. (And save the vibration for when your laundry is clean, as it could potentially distribute germs from clothing when they are dirty.)
If you are caring for somebody who’s ill, you can wash their clothes along with yours, but wear disposable gloves and wash your hands with soap and warm water once. And do not forget to disinfect the knobs on your washer and dryer.
Is it on my skin?
A: Germs can live on different parts of your body, but the main concern here is the palms. Your hands are what is most likely to come in touch with germy surfaces and then touch your face, and it is a possible route of transmission to the virus.