The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person-to-person. Some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus and not know it. The virus mainly spreads:
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.
- These respiratory droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
- COVID-19 may spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
The virus spreads easily between people
How easy a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious, like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, which means it goes from person-to-person without stopping. The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading easily and sustaninably between people.
The virus does not spread easily in other ways
COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning about how it spreads. It may be possible for COVID-19 to spread in other ways, but these are not thought to be the main ways the virus spreads.
From touching surfaces or objects. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. It is important to wash your hands and disinfect surfaces that are touched often.
Coronaviruses are thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets. Although the virus can survive for a period on some surfaces, it is unlikely to spread from domestic or international mail, products or packaging. However, it may be possible that people 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, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. It is important to wash your hands frequently and not touch your face.