By Aylin Woodward,Shayanne Gal
The new coronavirus typically spreads via droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The droplets carry viral particles and can land on someone else’s nose or mouth or get inhaled.
A study published April 2 in the journal The Lancet Microbe revealed how long the COVID-19 virus lasts on various common surfaces. The authors found that the virus lasted longest – seven days – on the outer layer of surgical masks.
How long the coronavirus can survive on surfaces
The researchers behind the new study tested the virus’ life span in a 71-degree-Fahrenheit room at 65% relative humidity. After three hours, the virus had disappeared from printing and tissue paper. It took two days for it to leave wood and cloth fabric. After four days, it was no longer detectable on glass or paper money. It lasted the longest, seven days, on stainless steel and plastic.
Strikingly, the authors wrote, the coronavirus was still present on the outward-facing side of a surgical mask on day seven of the investigation. That’s the longest duration of all the materials they tested.