Masks more important than disinfectant for COVID-19 prevention, experts say
|globalnews.ca 30 Jul 2020 at 06:17|
You can stop wiping down your groceries.
And, as gyms and restaurants reopen across Toronto and other parts of Canada, you probably don’t need to worry too much about catching COVID-19 by touching a treadmill or a menu.
While it is technically possible to catch the novel coronavirus by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your mouth or nose, scientists increasingly agree that it’s pretty unlikely, outside of specific environments.
“I never say zero, and I never say 100,” said Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti, Infectious Diseases physician at Trillium Health Partners in Mississauga. “But it’s extremely low risk.”
“It is a mode of transmission, but maybe not as important as we previously thought,” said Dr. Susy Hota, medical director of infection prevention and control for the University Health Network in Toronto.
Early on in the pandemic, Hota said, when we were still learning about how the virus is transmitted, early research suggested that an infected person could spread a lot of virus around their immediate environment.
Researchers didn’t know how infectious those bits of virus actually were, but the fact that they existed made everyone react with caution, she said, stepping up disinfection and regular cleaning. “We wanted to do everything possible,” she said.
An early piece of research published in the , which found that the virus was detectable on some surfaces for days, added to people’s concern, Chakrabarti said.
“That kind of scared everybody at first,” he said. “But then as things started to get more clear, you realized that yeah, you can find virus but that doesn’t mean that it can infect you.”