Local doctor says hand-washing, masks still important amid CDC update on COVID-19’s spread

Tracking Coronavirus

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There’s new, updated information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how the coronavirus actually spreads.

The CDC says the threat of COVID-19 is different than originally thought, and the virus doesn’t live on surfaces as long as they first believed.

It spreads mainly from person to person but is “not so easily” spread in other ways like touching surfaces.

“We knew from other coronavirus it was predominately from person to person, from either from people sneezing or coughing or having direct contact from those secretions,” said Dr. Sara Boyd, an infectious disease specialist at St. Luke’s Health System.

“This guidance change really tells us that the original way, that person to person, is the predominate way that people can become ill.”

Boyd said it’s an important revision and an important reminder about what health professionals know.

“We still want people to be very careful about washing their hands,” she said. “There is still a concern of touching our eyes, our nose, our mouth. But masks and face shields and the social distancing is still going to be very protective because of the person-to-person spread.”

As more businesses begin to open and long lines return around the metro, many people say they will remain cautious.

“I’ve had a few of my family members tested for the virus already. Thank God it came out negative. It’s a little scary,” said Stephanie Craig from Liberty. “We always sanitize. We have sanitizer with us. We have masks.”

Boyd said now is not the time to get too comfortable.

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