The CDC updated its stance on how coronavirus spreads

Coronavirus on surfaces- graphic

The agency also estimates that 40% of coronavirus transmission is occurring before people actually feel sick.

When the virus first started spreading around the world, health officials were trying to understand how it spread and warned people that it could survive on certain surfaces.

"Our transmission language has not changed", Nordlund said.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

The new guidelines, however, warned that the virus "can spread from people to animals in some situations".

The spread is believed to occur mainly "through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes", the site says.

In March, a preliminary study suggested that the virus remains in the air for up to three hours and on surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel for up to three days, leading many people to disinfect their surroundings constantly.

"Direct contact with people has the highest likelihood of getting infected - being close to an infected person, rather than accepting a newspaper or a FedEx guy dropping off a box", said virologist Vincent Munster, a researcher at the Virus Ecology Section of Rocky Mountain Laboratories, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases facility in Hamilton, Montana.

Why it matters: Early versions of detailed CDC guidelines for reopening the country included guidance for religious institutions to hold in-person services, which the White House requested to be taken out, according to AP.

"COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning about how it spreads". There is no clarity as to when the agency made changes to the guidelines. "It may be possible for COVID-19 to spread in other ways, but these are not thought to be the main ways the virus spreads", the agency's website reads. "Just don't wipe down food with disinfectant".