How long does coronavirus live on various surfaces?

Published: 27 May, 2020

From The Philadelphia Inquirer
By Tom Avril

Researchers placed droplets containing the coronavirus on four different surfaces and measured how fast the microbe decayed. It lived up to 72 hours (three days) on plastic and steel, but its levels dropped off dramatically well before then, to the point that most people would be unlikely to get sick.

The virus lived for four hours on copper, one day on cardboard and three days on plastic and stainless steel.

Generally, the smaller the exposure to a virus, the less likely it will develop into a full-blown infection. And when a virus is exposed to sunlight and warmer temperatures, as might be likely with mail, it is likely to decay even faster than what the scientists found in their indoor experiment.

“The fact that you could identify a virus on a surface does not mean it is necessarily infectious,” he said.

Still, it can’t hurt to wash your hands after taking groceries out of the bag, opening a newly delivered envelope, or retrieving the newspaper. Soap and water do the job.

Read the full article: Can the coronavirus really live for 3 days on plastic? Yes, but it’s complicated.

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