Survival of COVID-19 on surfaces
Well, I’m sure we are all sick of hearing about covid019, but let me give you some facts about how long this virus can survive outside of the body on surfaces.
Studies suggest that COVID-19 may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. And that this may vary under different conditions like surface type, temperature or humidity of the environment.
Initial studies suggest the following time frames for virus survival on surfaces:
3h on printed and tissue paper (e.g. Receipts, letters, newspapers)
24 h on cardboard (e.g. Box deliveries, bosed items at the supermarket)
3 h in the air (e.g Keep a window open when you can)
4 h on copper surfaces (e.g Coins and some tap fixtures)
2 days on wood and clothes (e.g Be cautious touching railing at lookouts)
4 days on Smooth surfaces ( e.g Glass, phone screens and bank notes)
7 days on stainless steel and plastic (e.g Door handles and railings)
7 days on the outside of surgical masks
Temperature and COVID-19
The virus is highly stable at 4°C, but sensitive to heat at around 70oC for 5 min.
At 4°C, the virus can survive well over 14 days – so don’t forget to wash your groceries before putting them in the fridge.
Remember, if you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.
Published March 17: https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMc2004973
Published March 27: medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.15.20036673v2