COVID-19 Updates

CDC eases cleaning guidelines to prevent COVID spread

By Tim Darnell, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Troy Warren #covid-all


Walensky says young people driving U.S. uptick in coronavirus cases.

The director of the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday the agency is relaxing its guidelines on cleaning facilities and homes to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

At a White House briefing, Dr. Rochelle Walensky said disinfection is still being recommended in “indoor settings, schools, and homes where there has been a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, within the last 24 hours.”

Overall, however, Walensky said science has shown people can become infected via contaminated surfaces, but the risk is low. Regular cleaning of these surfaces with soap or detergent works, and disinfection is not necessary, Walensky said.

Cleaning with products containing soap or detergent reduces germs on surfaces by removing contaminants and may also weaken or damage some of the virus particles, which decreases risk of infection from surfaces, the CDC said. “When no people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 are known to have been in a space, cleaning once a day is usually enough to sufficiently remove virus that may be on surfaces and help maintain a healthy facility.”

During the same briefing, Walensky said young people are driving the latest uptick in COVID-19 cases, as the increasing rate of vaccination in older Americans is preventing the most serious cases among seniors.

“Cases are increasing nationally, and we are seeing this occur predominately in younger adults,” she said, citing not only an increasing spread of variants but also a rise in youth sports and extracurricular activities as contributing to the steady increase in cases during the last four weeks.

Walensky pointed to positive developments among the most vulnerable age group, saying senior citizens’ virus deaths have reached their lowest levels since the early fall. Greater than 75% of those aged 65 or older nationally have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and nearly 55% are fully vaccinated.

“What we’re seeing is both a decrease in emergency department visits as well as hospitalizations associated with that demographic,” Walensky said.