Another day, another social media rumor.
A message spreading on social media claims contact at gas pumps is a major source for the rapidly spreading delta variant.
“The hospital sent a message this morning that the Covid-19/delta mutant virus seems to be spreading rapidly through gasoline pumps, asking everyone to wear gloves or use paper towels when refueling and handling-please share. Please send it to everyone in your contact list. Don’t leave this information to yourself. Make it available to all your family and friends.”
The message doesn’t indicate which hospital supposedly sent the message or when only adding the vague “this morning.”
This isn’t the first time the gas pump rumor has spread. During the early days of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, Facebook posts began circulating making similar claims about gas pumps spreading the virus.
At the times, Snopes said the results were mixed, meaning while it is possible that gas pumps or other commonly handled objects could transmit the virus “we have found no substantial reports of anyone having been infected in that fashion yet.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the primary method for spreading COVID and the delta variant remains person-to-person contact.
“It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads,” the CDC said.
To prevent the spread of COVID, the CDC recommends:
- Get a vaccine
- Wear a mask if you are not fully vaccinated or are in places of high transmission
- Practice social distancing
- Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.