4/7/21 – CDC adjusts cleaning guidelines

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(ABC News) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance on cleaning and disinfecting everyday household surfaces, saying that in “most situations” with no known coronavirus exposure, a thorough scrub with soap and water will suffice — rather than disinfectant sprays and wipes — to ward off COVID-19.

“Routine cleaning performed effectively with soap or detergent, at least once per day, can substantially reduce virus levels on surfaces,” the CDC said at a White House briefing Monday.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said “disinfection is only recommended in indoor-setting schools and homes where there has been a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, within the last 24 hours.”

It comes as the nation looks towards reopening and a new normal for community spaces and cleanliness standards.

The president of Clorox, Linda Rendle, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” in May that the company had seen an “unprecedented spike in demand for wipes, up 500% versus a year ago,” and that the wipes’ limited supply were “being snagged just about as soon as they hit shelves.”

As supplies ran low, the disinfecting products were prioritized for hospitals and caregivers, perpetuating a high demand and prompting consumers to turn to do-it-yourself methods or internet purchases — which prompted concerns over hoarding and price gouging.

During the pandemic’s first months, eBay banned the sale of hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and surgical masks by U.S. sellers after reports of skyrocketing prices for products and shipping.

“We have seen some people stockpile and we would encourage all of those people who have a little too much at home to help share with everyone else so we all have the disinfecting products that we need,” Rendle told GMA, noting Clorox’s “zero tolerance” for price gouging.

In an August earnings call, Rendle said that it might take a while to restock the product in stores, pointing towards later in 2021.

White House health officials on Monday reiterated their calls for Americans to heed mitigating health measures as a prime mode to stop the coronavirus‘ spread.

“Wearing masks consistently and correctly, washing your hands,” and following health experts’ guidance to maintain healthy facilities can help reduce the risk of surface transmission,” Walensky said. “The main way people are infected with COVID-19 has been close, person-to-person contact.”