For a virus that spreads via airborne transmission of aerosols—something scientists have known for many months, though it took the World Health Organization until the end of April to update its guidance—these plastic barriers between diners were always a confusing addition. Think of the particles that disperse through the air when someone smokes a cigarette. A plastic barrier wouldn’t prevent you from smelling that cigarette and breathing some of that same air.
Conclusions: The majority of studies report identification of SARS-CoV-2 RNA on inanimate surfaces; however, there is a lack of evidence demonstrating the recovery of viable virus. Lack of positive viral cultures suggests that the risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through fomites is low. Heterogeneity in study designs and methodology prevents comparisons of findings across studies. Standardized guidelines for conducting and reporting research on fomite transmission is warranted.