CDC updates COVID-19 transmission webpage to clarify information about types of spread

Media Statement

For Immediate Release: Friday, May 22, 2020
Contact: Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

CDC actively reviews our website to make sure the content is accessible and clear for all types of audiences. As a result of one such review, edits were made to the organization of the COVID-19 transmission page, including adding a headline in an attempt to clarify other types of spread beyond person to person. This change was intended to make it easier to read, and was not a result of any new science.

After media reports appeared that suggested a change in CDC’s view on transmissibility, it became clear that these edits were confusing. Therefore, we have once again edited the page to provide clarity.

The primary and most important mode of transmission for COVID-19 is through close contact from person-to-person. Based on data from lab studies on COVID-19 and what we know about similar respiratory diseases, 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, but this isn’t thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

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CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether disease start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world.

Page last reviewed: May 23, 2020