COVID-19 electron microscope

This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (blue/pink) cultured in the lab.

Q: How thoroughly do closed businesses have to be cleaned before they are reopened?

A: Businesses and public spaces in Victoria and throughout Texas are slowly beginning to reopen. Items that are frequently touched, like tables, door knobs and touch screens, should be disinfected, but surfaces and objects that aren’t touched as frequently probably only need to be cleaned with soap and water, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If your business has been closed for more than seven days, you probably don’t need to anything other than your regular cleaning routine, according to the CDC.

“If your workplace, school, or business has been unoccupied for seven days or more, it will only need your normal routine cleaning to reopen the area,” according to the CDC’s reopening guidance. “This is because the virus that causes COVID-19 has not been shown to survive on surfaces longer than this time.”

New research about the this coronavirus is being done constantly, so what scientists recommend may change. But the most important advice for people to stay healthy remains frequent and careful hand washing.

Ciara McCarthy covers public health for the Victoria Advocate as a Report for America corps member. You can reach her at or at 580-6597 or on Twitter at @mccarthy_ciara. To support local journalism at the Advocate through Report for America, go to

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Health Reporter

Ciara McCarthy covers public health for the Advocate as a Report for America corps member. She reports on insurance, the cost of health care, local hospitals, and more. Questions, tips, or ideas? Contact: or call 361-580-6597.

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