Can COVID Live on Clothing and Shoes?

Protecting yourself from the coronavirus should be on your mind right now. While the financial burdens and life interruptions this disease has caused may be impossible to not think of, not protecting yourself will only extend this. The more we do to help stop the outbreak the sooner we’ll get back to life.

The three most important pieces of advice sources are telling you is to wash your hands, sneeze and cough into your elbow, and wear a protective mask. While these things are vitally important, there are more ways than one to catch or give the coronavirus. One of the most overlooked is how great the coronavirus is at living on surfaces. The coronavirus can survive on surfaces for 2 hours all the way up to several days. This includes any surface. Your clothes and shoes are highly vulnerable to this. It’s time to understand what you need to know and how you can protect them:

It Has Gotten People Sick Before

While there haven’t been a staggering amount of cases, clothing and shoe items have caused some cases of the coronavirus. It isn’t the most likely way to catch the disease. With that said, any effort to stop this disease from spreading is well worth it. Those of you who do not have a large wardrobe need to understand the importance of doing your laundry as much as possible.

It’s very Low Risk

While people have caught the disease from clothing items, they carry a very low risk of infecting someone with the disease. Most of the parts of your clothing that you touch are not ones that rest on surfaces. It’s a lot more likely that you’ll be able to get the coronavirus from other people touching your clothes in areas that you do touch. It’s important to keep a safe distance and avoid as much physical contact as possible to reduce the chances of this happening.

Healthcare Workers Are Much More at Risk

Healthcare workers are much more likely to be able to contract the coronavirus from their clothing. They are in close proximity to coronavirus patients right now. While patients with the coronavirus are wearing masks in the hospital, these do not always cover their nose. Touching a patient can involve bodily fluid exposure that the worker can get under their skin or any part of their body and clothing simply by touching it. A mask may protect them while they are at the hospital; however, when they come home these masks are likely to be taken off. They may touch their clothes and then mouth once they are home.

The gloves the healthcare worker uses can easily cause cross contamination. Cross contamination is when you protect one part of your body from the coronavirus, but then it touches something else that you will touch later without the protection. The gloves a healthcare worker uses are often the source that causes it to get on their clothing. People touch their clothing without realizing it all the time.

Shoes Are Worse than Clothing

Shoes are much dirtier in nature and touch the ground as we walk. This makes them perfectly susceptible at contracting the coronavirus. People spit, throw up, and in large cities urinate on the ground. With that, they are still an unlikely source of contamination. Partly because people do not often put them on surfaces like a kitchen counter or table. Some people choose to take them off when they enter the home.

It is a great idea to take your shoes off and clean them every so often during this outbreak. You should manage them like you would any dirty object. Think twice before putting your feet up on another chair.

Some Shoes Are More Susceptible than Others

Pay attention to the material your shoe is made out of. Shoes that are made from synthetic material or plastic are more at risk. The coronavirus can live on plastic for a long time. Shoes that are made with something like leather are also high risk. Natural fibers dry out the virus, making it inactive faster. It’s important not to get too excited about this if you have a shoe made with natural fibers. The sole of the shoe probably isn’t. It’s more likely to be plastic or made with another material that can easily spread the virus.

Understand That the Risks Are Minimal but Still Shouldn’t Be Taken Lightly

The risks to your clothing and shoes should not be taken likely in any respect; however, it is still not responsible for the vast majority of coronavirus cases. It is more important to wash your hands frequently, not to touch your face, and stay away from the sick. If you are a healthcare worker you should be as cautious as possible with your clothing. Those who are not still need to take the advice on how to protect them. The coronavirus can live on almost any surface, clothing included.