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how long does covid last on surfaces

how long does covid last on surfaces

The COVID-19 pandemic has made us more aware of how easily the virus can spread from person to person through respiratory droplets. However, another important factor is that the virus can also survive on surfaces for varying amounts of time. Knowing how long the virus can survive on surfaces is crucial for preventing the spread of the disease. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how long COVID-19 can last on different types of surfaces and how you can protect yourself and others.

What is COVID-19?

The coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is a highly contagious virus that has caused a global pandemic. It is primarily spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person talks, coughs or sneezes. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and can include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

To prevent the spread of coronavirus, it is crucial to maintain good hygiene practices such as frequent hand washing, wearing masks and practicing social distancing. In addition, regular coronavirus cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, countertops, and phones are important to reduce the risk of transmission.

How long can COVID-19 survive on surfaces?

The amount of time the virus can survive on surfaces depends on various factors, including the type of surface, the temperature and humidity of the environment, and the amount of virus present.

According to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, SARS-CoV-2 can last for up to 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel surfaces, 24 hours on cardboard, and 4 hours on copper surfaces. However, it’s important to note that the amount of virus remains on the surface decreases over time. Common disinfectants more easily inactivate the virus after several hours.

Another study published in The Lancet Microbe found that the virus can survive on banknotes, glass, and stainless steel for up to 28 days under ideal conditions (20°C, 50% relative humidity). However, the amount of virus that remains on these surfaces decreases over time, and the virus is more easily inactivated by common disinfectants after several hours.

How can you protect yourself from COVID-19 on surfaces?

To reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 from surfaces, it’s important to follow these guidelines:

Wash your hands frequently

Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Be sure to wash your hands after touching surfaces contaminated with the virus, such as doorknobs, elevator buttons, and shopping carts.

Use hand sanitizer

If soap and water aren’t available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Apply the sanitizer to the palm of your hand and rub it all over your hands, including the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.

Disinfect frequently touched surfaces

Disinfect surfaces frequently touched, such as doorknobs, light switches, and countertops, with a disinfectant effective against COVID-19. Follow the instructions on the label, and be sure to wear gloves and use the disinfectant in a well-ventilated area.

Wear a mask

Wearing a mask can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by reducing the amount of respiratory droplets released into the air. Be sure to wear a mask covering your nose and mouth when you’re in public, especially when you’re close to others.

Practice social distancing

Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19. Avoid crowded spaces, and limit your exposure to people who are sick.


The COVID-19 virus can survive on surfaces for varying periods, depending on the surface type, temperature, humidity, and other environmental factors. Regularly cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and practicing good hand hygiene can help reduce the risk of transmission from surfaces. To learn more about reducing your family’s risk of contracting COVID-19 contact us today – we are available to answer any questions or concerns about hygiene safety at home.

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