Can I Get COVID-19 From My Cell Phone?

In our series "What's the Risk?" experts weigh in on what risks different scenarios pose for transmitting COVID-19.
Posted at 10:52 AM, May 08, 2020

When it comes to getting sick with COVID-19, you might be thinking about this, and we have too. Marisa Vinas asks:

"What's the risk of using my cell phone while outside the house?"

We asked the experts: Dr. Irfan N. Hafiz, an infectious disease physician and chief medical officer for Northwestern Medicine's northwest region; Katie Cary, Vice President of Infection Prevention for HCA Continental Division; and Dr. Jasmine Marcelin, an infectious disease specialist at Nebraska Medicine.

Their take: contracting COVID-19 from a cell phone is low risk. 

"If somebody coughs or sneezes onto their hand, touches a doorknob, that you then touch, then you, touch your cell phone. Then the virus can then be on your cell phone," Marcelin said. 

"I'm not really worried about the cell phone usage there unless you're talking about other people sharing your phone," Hafiz said. 

"It would get higher if you allowed somebody else to use your phone because you don't know where their hands have been and what they have touched. I always consider cell phones dirty. I think we should all consider cell phones quite dirty. So it's just important that you're always washing your hand and periodically you clean your phone. And maybe more often now than you would before," Cary said. 

If you have a question about your risk, send us a video to You can see answers to other questions here