CDC now says COVID-19 ‘does not spread easily’ on surfaces

This file image provided by The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) shows SARS-CoV-2 (orange) the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (green) cultured in the lab. (Source: NIAID-RML via AP)
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) -- The CDC has updated its guidelines about how the coronavirus spreads. Although they had previously warned that surfaces and objects could be contaminated for about 72 hours, they're now saying that the virus does not spread as easily through touch.

So does that change anything in terms of precautions as businesses begin to open back up? Health officials say that this doesn’t mean we go back to not taking precautions, but instead – shift the focus. Masks and social distancing will continue being the primary way to help avoid spreading COVID-19.

"When you have an illness that is borne by droplets –by coughing and sneezing, etcetera -that there's more chance to spread it among the community if you're in close quarters,” Dr. Matthew Faiman from the Cleveland Clinic, said.

It may not happen through touching the same surface as someone else, but person-to-person spread has been proven to be the main transmission. This change will definitely help ease the anxiety and stress many people have over how contagious this virus is, but even so, businesses on the Suncoast say they'll continue taking extra precaution.

"Our number one priority as club owners is to keep this place clean,” Andrea Henley, the owner of Anytime Fitness in Bradenton, tells us, “We clean hourly, and want to make sure this place is spotless, but now, we wanted to talk extreme measures to make sure that everybody was protected from viruses and surfaces."

Anytime Fitness in Bradenton is just one of many places that has hired a weekly disinfecting service.

The machine they are using, called the Virus Vaporizer, uses a hospital grade germicide which is epa-approved to wipe out 47 different disease-causing pathogens – including the new strain of coronavirus.

"This certificate gives the businesses an opportunity to show their customers and employees that they care, and they are making sure that everything is staying sanitized," expressed Jeff Engelskirch, the owner Of Enviro-Master in Sarasota.

Some Suncoast businesses have found other ways to sanitize their space, as well, killing 99.9% of germs.

"The circulating of air is what people are afraid of, so as the air circulates in here, the UV light is killing the nasty stuff that's coming through it. In the long run, our goal is to stay open. I don't ever want to see what happened over the last two months happen again, so if we can keep people healthy and make them feel safe, that's our number goal. Not cheap, but worth it,” Kelli Jaco, the owner of Jaco's Boxing & Fitness Gym, tells ABC7.

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