CDC is conflating diagnostic and antibody tests for coronavirus

CDC now says the coronavirus does not spread easily from touching surfaces or objects

COVID-19 Update: Coronavirus 'Doesn't Easily Spread' Via Contaminated Surfaces, CDC Claims

The agency says in its updated guidelines that while it "may be possible" for someone to become infected by touching a surface with the virus on it and then touching their face, it "does not spread easily" in this manner, USA Today reports.

The update also maintains that the spread is also low between animals and people and vice versa.

The federal health agency, however, did remind citizens that the coronavirus mainly spread from an infected individual to another and that the infection caused by SARS-CoV-2 is spreading very easily and sustainably between individuals.

But the new guidelines, issued this week, said "this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads". During the pandemic, viral tests have been the most effective way of being able to diagnose a positive case of COVID-19. Those are completely different metrics that are used for different things-a negative viral test confirms that a person doesn't have COVID-19 right now, and a negative antibody test confirms that they have never had it at all. Earlier this week, Columbia University researchers found that if the USA had implemented social distancing just two weeks earlier, then almost 1 million COVID-19 cases could have been prevented and more than 54,000 people would still be alive.

The list for the ways the virus does not easily spread also includes "from animals to people" and "from people to animals".

The virus spread rapidly "through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks". "These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs", according to the CDC.

However people should remain cautious as transmission from contaminated surfaces "may still be possible" as scientists work to discover more about how the virus spreads, the CDC warns.

The virus can spread among those in close contact of roughly 6 feet, the CDC said.

"Covid-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms". A positive antibody test result would indicate that the person has already been exposed to the virus and likely already recovered from an infection.

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