How COVID-19 Spreads

Everything You Need to Know

You’re probably taking extra precautions these days, from wearing masks and gloves to cleaning and sanitizing more than ever before.

Practicing proper social distancing and being extra cautious helps you protect yourself and your home from coronavirus.

But, how exactly does it spread?

How Coronavirus Spreads

The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).

To break it down even more:

  • You can become infected by coming into close contact (about 6 feet or two arm lengths) with a person who has COVID-19. The virus is primarily spread from person to person.
  • You can become infected from respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.
  • You may also be able to get it by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, and then by touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.

COVID-19 is spreading very easily and sustainably between people. Information from the ongoing pandemic suggests that this virus is spreading more efficiently than influenza, but not as efficiently as measles, which is highly contagious.

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, but we are still learning more about how this virus spreads.

Based on current information about coronavirus thus far, it seems unlikely that COVID-19 can be transmitted through food, although additional investigation is needed. In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely also a very low risk of spread from food products or packaging.

At this time, CDC also has no data to suggest that coronavirus is spread by mosquitoes or ticks, and the risk of COVID-19 spreading from animals to people is considered to be low. The main way that COVID-19 spreads is from person to person.

Community Spread

COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in many affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

Protect Yourself and Others

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. You can take steps to slow the spread:

  • Maintain good social distance (about 6 feet). This is very important in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  • Wear a cloth face covering that covers your nose and mouth in public settings.

By following social distancing and your local public health guidelines, such as staying at home when you can and wearing a face mask when you must go out, you help to lower your risk of infection. You also help protect other members of your community.

For information on how your workplace can be tested for the COVID-19 active virus and/or antibodies, please visit or contact us at [email protected] or 800-269-0502.

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