May 22, 2020 - Health

CDC emphasizes coronavirus does not spread easily on surfaces

CDC Director Robert Redfield briefs reporters on the coronavirus at the White House on April 22. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The coronavirus does not spread easily from touching surfaces or objects, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention emphasizes in recently updated guidance.

Why it matters: The virus can last on surfaces from hours to days, depending on the material, according to a widely referenced study in the New England Journal of Medicine. But, person-to-person spread is currently thought to be the primary way the virus is transmitted, the CDC says.

What they're saying: "Improvements were made to the COVID-19 transmission page including adding a headline to clarify other types of spread beyond person to person, as a result of usability improvements," CDC spokesperson Benjamin Haynes told Axios, noting the CDC's "transmission language has not changed."

  • "COVID-19 spreads mainly through close contact from person-to-person. While it may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads," Haynes said.
  • “Direct contact with people has the highest likelihood of getting infected — being close to an infected person, rather than accepting a newspaper or a FedEx guy dropping off a box,” virologist Vincent Munster from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases facility Rocky Mountain Laboratories told the Washington Post.

Go deeper: The good and bad news about asymptomatic coronavirus cases

Go deeper

13 hours ago - Health

Protests against police brutality threaten coronavirus response

Protesters in Philadelphia on June 1. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Protests against police brutality have prompted the closure of coronavirus test sites across the country, including in Pennsylvania, Florida, California and Illinois, Politico reports.

Why it matters: This adds to concerns that the protests themselves create an environment in which the virus can easily spread, particularly if and when protesters aren't wearing masks or social distancing.

Updated 7 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump backs off push to federalize forces against riots

Photo: Brendan Smialowski /AFP via Getty Images

A day after threatening to federalize forces to snuff out riots across the country, the president appears to be backing off the idea of invoking the Insurrection Act, sources familiar with his plans tell Axios.

What we're hearing: Aides say he hasn’t ruled out its use at some point, but that he's “pleased” with the way protests were handled last night (apart from in New York City, as he indicated on Twitter today) — and that for now he's satisfied with leaving the crackdown to states through local law enforcement and the National Guard.

What we expect from our bosses

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Workers — especially millennials and Gen Zers — are paying close attention to the words and actions of their employers during national crises, such as the protests following the killing of George Floyd in police custody.

Why it matters: American companies have an enormous amount of wealth and influence that they can put toward effecting change, and CEOs have the potential to fill the leadership vacuum left by government inaction. More and more rank-and-file employees expect their bosses to do something with that money and power.