Article updated with latest information on 04/13/2020.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), COVID-19 is spread from person to person mainly through respiratory droplets that are expelled into the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can end up in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby and then inhaled into their lungs. This means that transmission is more likely to occur when people are in close contact with one another, which is considered less than 6 feet apart.
Besides directly breathing in infected respiratory droplets. The other way that you can contract COVID-19 is by touching an object or surface that the respiratory droplets landed on and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes. This has led many to wonder exactly how long the virus can survive on different surfaces. This is dependent on the surface (see our table for more information).
The key thing to preventing the spread of COVID-19 is to disinfect your hands by washing them frequently and thoroughly (see our Handwashing article). It’s also vital to clean the surfaces in your home more often than normal. You can do this using various different cleaning products that have recently been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (see our Disinfectants article).