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VERIFY: Even with precautions, can grocery bags carry COVID-19?

Since the CDC believes the coronavirus can spread on surfaces, some have asked our VERIFY team if grocery bags pose a risk.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Grocery stores — like many businesses — have taken precautions to keep us safe.

But even with safety measures in place, can the simplest actions — like grabbing your grocery bags from the cashier — spread the coronavirus?

The CDC has told us the virus can be transferred on surfaces, saying on May 22 "it may be possible that a person 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."

"In theory, any surface can transmit this," ProMedica Dr. Brian Kaminski added. "So a plastic bag would be one of those things that could potentially a source or a contact surface where we could pick up the virus."

Credit: WTOL

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That may concern you, but Dr. Kaminski explained the likelihood of catching the virus from your grocery bag is quite slim if you're being smart.

"If we're all maintaining those proper behaviors —meaning that the cashier is performing frequent hand sanitation, not touching his or her face, handing it off to you who's also performed frequent hand sanitation, and then you take your groceries and go put them in your car, you hand sanitize again after you did that — you've really virtually eliminated your risk at that point," Kaminski said.

So we can VERIFY: you can theoretically catch COVID-19 by touching grocery bags, but proper hygiene will almost definitely prevent it — and person-to-person is still the primary way it's transmitted.


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