While it shows the importance of cleaning and disinfecting phones and other surfaces, the study comes with some large caveats. It was conducted at a constant 68 degree F temperature in dark conditions to negate the effects of UV light, far from real-world conditions. The experiment also didn’t use fresh mucous — normally present with viruses on surfaces — which contain white cells and antibodies. “In my opinion infectious viruses will only persist for hours in mucus on surfaces rather than days,” Cardiff University professor Ron Eccles told the BBC.
Recently, experts have also downplayed the risk of coronavirus transmission from surfaces. According to the center for disease control (CDC), “spread from touching surfaces is not thought to be a common way that COVID-19 spreads.” Rather, the most common vectors are respiratory droplets produced by coughing or sneezing. New guidelines also suggest that it can also be transmitted by airborne transmission in “poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces that often involved activities that caused heavier breathing, like singing or exercise.”