Local doctor explains how COVID-19 could spread from cell phones and other surfaces

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – As many of us stay inside of our homes more often to stay safe from COVID-19, doctors say it’s important to remember the germs that may be surrounding us everyday.

Dr. Valerie Scott, who works at Roper St. Francis Hospital, said, at the beginning of the pandemic, people did everything they could to avoid touching any potential infected surfaces.

“People were wearing booties on their shoes, taking their clothes off when they came in the house…wiping down each apple when they got them delivered,” said Dr. Scott.

She said COVID-19 can live on surfaces for several hours, but, because the virus can’t just break through your skin, it would need an opening in order to actually enter your body.

“You actually have to take the COVID virus from your hand, put it in your mouth or your eyes or your nose,” she said.

Cell phones are a surface that we take with us everywhere we go, which leads to more exposure to potential germs.

Dr. Scott believes sanitizing your phone can definitely lessen your risk of getting sick, not just of COVID-19, but with any disease.

“There are these devices that use blue light on your cell phone that a lot of people are using nowadays, probably not overkill….We probably should’ve been doing it anyway.” Dr. Scott said.

Soap and water are the best ways to kill germs instantly, but if you do decide to use another sanitizing method, such as Clorox wipes or disinfectant spray, you should only use them sparingly.

“If you’re going to use those I would put gloves on because that stuff is really toxic to you and that’s one thing, with all of the sanitizing, that you forget that a lot of these things can hurt us.”

Dr. Valerie Scott

COVID-19 does not just live on surfaces. It can also be spread through the air, which is why, according to Dr. Scott, wearing a mask and social distancing is so important.

She said sneezing, coughing, yelling, or singing could all lead to potential spread of the virus even if you are staying six feet apart.

Click here for updated COVID-19 information.

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