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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

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden readies massive shifts in policy for his first days in office.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.
  6. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.
Updated Aug 30, 2020 - World

Berlin police break up protests against coronavirus restrictions

A protester confronting a police officer in Berlin on Aug. 28. Photo: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Berlin police arrested 300 demonstrators after disbanding a protest Saturday over Germany's coronavirus restrictions as tens of thousands of participants refused to maintain social distancing, per the BBC.

Why it matters: Berlin's regional government tried to ban the protest earlier this week, citing concern for public health. Protesters successfully appealed the decision on Friday, though a court required demonstrators to observe social distancing.

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