October 2020 – “Toilet plumes containing aerosolized coronavirus, released by flushing and lingering in the air or possibly landing on surfaces, may pose another concern” in the battle against COVID-19 according to an article in U.S. News & World Report. The article, by U.S. News Staff Writer Lisa Esposito, sites multiple expert sources and research studies.

Among key take-aways are:

  • Evidence seems to confirm COVID-19 could spread by fecal-oral contact or toilet plumes. Fecal-oral contact can occur, for example, when a restaurant worker fails to wash his or her hands after visiting the restroom and then handles or serves food.
  • Evidence of live, infectious virus – not just genetic material – has been identified in stool of severe COVID-19 patients
  • Hospital workers and patients face exposure to infected stool due to high-traffic restrooms
  • Bathroom surfaces may provide several routes for COVID-19 to spread

In addition to masks, hand hygiene, keeping toilet lids down, the need to sanitize high-touch areas throughout any restroom is also critical.

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