Coronaviruses: How long can they survive on surfaces?

According to researchers, the coronavirus can live from hours to days both in the air and on surfaces.

Researchers from National Institutes of Health (NIH), CDC, UCLA and Princeton University, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, looked at the aerosol and surface stability of SARS-CoV-2 and compared it with SARS-CoV-1, the most closely related coronavirus. The study looked at 10 experimental conditions involving the two viruses in five environmental conditions: Aerosols, plastic, stainless steel, copper, and cardboard.

Here's how long the virus stays on surfaces, according to the study:

-On aerosols up to three hours

-On copper up to four hours

-On cardboard up to 24 hours

-On plastic and stainless steel up to two to three days

The report also noted the half-life, or rate of decay, or the time it took for half of the virus sample to die. The research team found that it takes about 66 minutes for half the virus particles to lose function if they are in an aerosol droplet. The longest viability was on stainless steel and plastic, approximately 6.8 hours on plastic and 5.6 hours on stainless steel.