How Long Can Coronavirus Hang Out on Surfaces and Float in the Air? Get the Facts Here!

Before the coronavirus became an issue in the United States, there were concerns about whether the virus could be transmitted through packages shipped from China. Research at the time showed that the virus didn’t survive on surfaces long enough to make the trip overseas. However, now that the coronavirus is widespread, it’s important to understand how long the virus can survive on various surfaces and in the air.

A team of government and university researchers from the U.S. recently used a nebulizer device to emit the virus into the environment, simulating the spread of the virus through coughing. They then tested the air and different types of materials to see how long the virus lasted. Here’s what they found:

  • The virus lasted in the air for up to three hours.
  • It lasted on copper for up to four hours.
  • It lasted on cardboard for up to 24 hours.
  • And it lasted on plastic and stainless steel for up to two to three days.

It’s important to note that researchers are still unsure if people can catch the coronavirus through the air. While it’s possible, it’s not certain.

Even though the virus is likely to end up on many public surfaces, there are common-sense measures you can take to reduce the risk of it entering your body. If you touch coronavirus on a public surface, you won’t necessarily get the virus unless you also touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Viruses enter the body through the mucous membranes in those body parts. So, it’s essential to avoid touching your face, as the average person touches their face 23 times an hour.

Washing your hands frequently, especially when you’re out in public, is incredibly important. Lather your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds, then rinse them thoroughly with water. Turn off the sink with something other than your hand (like your elbow) and dry your hands with a clean towel or let them air dry. Avoid touching the door handle on the way out.

In your home, you can reduce the risk of the virus lingering from family members or visitors by cleaning surfaces twice per day with a disinfectant. The bathroom is an important area to clean as well, as there’s some evidence that the virus is transmitted through stool.

These are strange times we’re living in, but being proactive and taking simple actions can significantly reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Panic won’t prevent you from getting the virus, but taking practical measures might.

It’s crucial to stay informed during these times and to be aware of the various ways the virus can spread. Remember to wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your face, and clean surfaces regularly to protect yourself and others from the coronavirus.