Infectious diseases specialist weighs in on deep cleaning in public places, mask mandates in schools


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The CDC is focusing on new research that could end deep cleaning in public spaces and breaks down the hot button issue of mask mandates in schools.

“This [COVID-19] primarily spreads through airborne routes and aerosols and much, much less likely through infected surfaces,” Dr. Onyema Ogbuagu, a Yale Medicine infectious diseases specialist and associate professor at Yale School of Medicine, said.

Based on the new research, the CDC is calling for an end to the so-called “cleaning theater.”

“The estimates are that the risk of acquiring COVID from infected surfaces is as rare as 1 in 10,000 exposures,” Ogbuagu said.

If an infected person does come in contact with certain surfaces, deep cleaning would make sense in businesses, schools, and especially hospitals.

“A lot of effort has been put into deep cleaning disinfection, so it appears that may not be necessary,” Ogbuagu said.

Meantime, a hot button issue has been masking kids in schools. Two new reports provide more information for parents and students.

“One was done in Arizona schools, and they found at schools that initiated mask universal masking prior to school start as opposed to schools that didn’t, have a 3.5 lower transmission rate of having school outbreak,” Ogbuagu told News 8.

The other looked at over 50 counties across the nation. The second report showed there were 50% fewer cases in schools that had mask mandates before school starting as opposed to those schools that incorporated them later.

Ogbuagu said especially with younger, unvaccinated kids wearing a mask helps keep them protected.

“Where we lack in vaccination, we have to maintain those public health measures to safeguard our kids,” he said.

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