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Science says shoes can carry COVID-19 for up to 5 days, so here’s how to disinfect them

Science says shoes can carry COVID-19 for up to 5 days, so here’s how to disinfect them
Gabbi Garcia and Khalil Ramos for Scout x Globe

Beware: Your kicks might be putting you at risk.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a study on the shoes of healthcare workers from Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan, China and found that half of their samples tested positive for COVID-19. The floor of a pharmacy they tested also came out a hundred percent positive. 

Prior to this, non-porous materials that make up shoes, like rubber or leather, have been proven to be able to carry the virus. However, this is the first confirmation that shoes can also function as a carrier. According to the CDC, it can last for up to five days on a shoe’s sole.

So if you’ve been out with your shoes on, it’d be a good idea to disinfect them. Take note that sanitation is different from disinfection, though. Sanitizing can only lessen the virus, but disinfection aims to kill it entirely. 

Read more: Yikes! A tiger and a cat tested positive for COVID-19

To disinfect, you can throw your shoes that are made with mesh or canvas into the wash—ideally at a high temperature and with the use of bleach. For sneakers, hand wash them if possible, or at the very least, sanitize them by wiping down the sole with disinfectant wipes or Lysol.

Read more: Your phone can carry coronavirus for 9 days. Here’s how to disinfect it

Another important SOP right now is to not bring your shoes into your home, if you haven’t been doing that yet. Remember, you can never be too safe.

Art by Renz Mart Reyes


Giselle Barrientos
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