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Covid-19 Contact: Beware of What You Touch

How long the new coronavirus sticks to common surfaces


What's going on?

Close to nothing is safe from the coronavirus. Wash your hands, but also watch what you touch.


The world has continued to suffer a devastating loss since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in late 2019, and while it is terrifying that its spread has shown no signs of stopping, understanding the coronavirus’ behavior and how to avoid infection is the best way to deal with the crisis.


COVID-19, like other respiratory viruses, is easily transmissible from person-to-person via droplets in the air from coughs, sneezes, contaminated hands and surfaces not properly disinfected. However, unlike other viruses, coronaviruses live longer on some surfaces than others.


According to virologists, one cough can produce up to 3,000 droplets. Coronavirus droplets can survive in the air for up to three hours. On cardboard surfaces, however, the coronavirus can survive for 24 hours, which is highly concerning when taking into account packaging used by delivery services. The virus also survives on plastic and stainless steel surfaces for about three days, longer on glass or wood surfaces for four days, and even longer on metal surfaces for up to five days.


Fortunately for us, coronaviruses can be killed off in just a minute by disinfecting surfaces with common household cleaning products containing alcohol, 0.5 percent hydrogen peroxide, or bleach containing 0.1 percent sodium hypochlorite.