New Reports Claim COVID-19 Might Travel on Your Shoes

Shoeography | Wednesday, April 15, 2020 | 0 comments

Shoes are an essential part of life, whether you're hitting the park for a run or stepping outside to take out the trash. While most of us have been diligent about washing our hands in the midst of COVID-19, few people have considered whether the virus can be caught on your favorite pair of kicks when you visit the grocery store.


Unfortunately, our worst fears have come true: new studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in conjunction with hospitals in Wuhan, China have found the COVID-19 can be carried on shoes.
Published by the medical journal "Emerging Infectious Diseases," the study found that COVID-19 was discovered on a range of surfaces, from ICU floors to trash cans. According to the findings, the rates of COVID-19 were particularly high for floor swab samples. This makes sense given that any virus expelled by a cough or sneeze will inevitably float downward.
"[...] As medical staff walk around the ward, the virus can be tracked all over the floor, as indicated by the 100% rate of positivity from the floor in the pharmacy, where there were no patients," the study explains.

Additionally, more than half of the samples gleaned from the shoe soles of ICU hospital staff tested positive for the virus.
While no conclusions have yet been made, this study is important in finding out how the disease can spread through unorthodox means in a hospital setting. It's imperative that medical professionals practice stricter safety measures in order to keep their patients safe. Otherwise, medical practices might face legal action through negligence. The statute of limitations is two years in Texas and many other states, making this a problem that can have repercussions for the next couple of years.
Of course, it's still important to note that coronavirus is nowhere near the leading cause of death in most areas. Additionally, coronavirus traveling on your shoes is likely not a big issue for those who don't work in a medical setting.

The average life of coronavirus varies depending on certain surfaces. A recent report by Business Insider explains that coronavirus typically has a low life span on certain objects, like copper, cardboard, and tissues. This means that you'll be able to pick up pennies on the sidewalk without too much risk (though it isn't recommended). However, paper money and glass might encourage coronavirus to last on these surfaces for up to four days.

For those who are practicing social distancing, few people will be at risk for shoe infections in the coming weeks. However, it's recommended that you wash your hands and change your clothes after traveling outside. Studies have not been developed that track coronavirus' life span on objects like concrete sidewalks, but it's always better to be safe than sorry, especially if you go on daily walks to get some fresh air.

Additionally, Business Insider notes that it's unlikely that coronavirus can be transmitted through the mail on your cardboard boxes because of the shipping process. The CDC notes that "there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures."

As for your shoes, it's better to be safe than sorry. Remove your favorite pair of sneakers at your door and be sure to wash your hands before touching anything else in your home. Since the virus doesn't last long on surfaces, you also shouldn't have to throw out your favorite pair of shoes in the process.

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