What's The Risk Of Using Cash?

In our series "What's the Risk?" experts weigh in on what risks different scenarios pose for transmitting COVID-19.
Posted at 12:40 PM, Jun 24, 2020

When it comes to getting sick with COVID-19, you might be thinking about this, and we have too. Shelly Ollig asked: "What’s the risk of spreading COVID-19 if I use cash?"

We asked the experts: Katie Cary, vice president of infection prevention for HCA Continental Division, and Dr. Irfan N. Hafiz, infectious disease physician and Northwest Region chief medical officer at Northwestern Medicine.

Their take: Contracting COVID-19 from cash is low risk.

"Earlier on in this pandemic, there was a lot of things in the literature about how, you know, coronavirus and for that matter, any virus or germ, can be grown from inanimate surfaces. But the overall risk, we've always said, is really, really low for transmission. And I think there's good data. And by now we've seen some studies out there that the role that inanimate objects play in transmitting is really low. So I'm not really worried about cash," Hafiz said.

"With exchange of money and credit cards and anything like that, the important piece is just making sure that you're washing your hands after you come in contact with it," Cary said.

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