The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved two Lysol products as the nation’s first surface cleaners proven to kill COVID-19 and announced them Tuesday.
The two products — Lysol Disinfectant Spray and Lysol Disinfectant Max Cover Mist — meet the EPA’s criteria for killing COVID-19, according to the agency. The news is welcome to many newly-opening restaurants and gyms, which have been seeking formally approved method of disinfecting their facilities.
These approvals come as cases in many Southwestern states such as Texas and Arizona are spiking, though their mortality rates remain far below the levels seen in New York and much of New England. Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott even ordered bars to close once again in late June as cases in the state began to rise. Restaurants in Texas were also ordered to scale back their seating from 75% of capacity to 50%.
“EPA is committed to identifying new tools and providing accurate and up-to-date information to help the American public protect themselves and their families from the novel coronavirus,” EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a statement. “EPA’s review of products tested against this virus marks an important milestone in President Trump’s all of government approach to fighting the spread of COVID-19.”
Cleaning products and other disinfectants are merely half measures, however — President Donald Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force has said only a vaccine can serve as a permanent solution. The task force has also said a vaccine could be ready by the end of 2020. (RELATED: ‘Summer Respite’: White House Says Sunlight Has ‘Striking’ Effect On Killing Coronavirus)
“At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars,” Abbott said in a statement. “The actions in this executive order are essential to our mission to swiftly contain this virus and enhance public health.”