Home Highlight How long can the COVID-19 virus survive on different surfaces?

How long can the COVID-19 virus survive on different surfaces?

by Grace Sundram

Based on similar coronaviruses, the COVID-19 is known to be a virus that is mainly spread from person to person through coughing or sneezing. Based on the National Institutes of Health, Princeton University and the University of California, Los Angeles, these institutes have broken down how long the COVID-19 virus can survive on different surfaces.

However, do keep in mind as to how easily this virus can be spread even though it could be affected by wind, humidity, UV light and temperature.


Not an airborne virus but it can still linger in droplets on particles in the air. The COVID-19 virus could last up to three hours in droplets in the air making more sense on why social distancing is quite important. There should at least be a distance of six feet from other people so that you will be able to avoid particles that are spread through a cough or sneeze.



Whereas on copper surfaces such as a drawer handle or coins, the COVID-19 virus can last up to four hours.



“What do I do with my packages?”

Well, first things first, the virus can only survive on the cardboard for 24 hours. According to the CDC, it is quite unlikely for packages and mails to transmit the virus.

But as a safety precaution, you can always disinfect the package with wet wipes, placing them under the sun or in a separate room.

Plastic and stainless steel


The coronavirus appears to last the longest when it comes to plastic and stainless steel surfaces. It can last up to two to three days compared to the flu. It seems that the virus can survive longer on nonporous surfaces such as keyboards, tumblers, doorknobs, handrails, switches and so on.


Although studies can’t confirm how long can the virus survive on a phone or phone case. It is speculated that since its nonabsorbent surface is quite similar to plastic, it’s possible that the COVID-19 virus could last up to two to three days as well. To be certain, we advise you to constantly clean both your phones and phone case and any other technology devices you have with wet wipes.

Reduce the risk of exposure


If you have no reason to be out in public, then just remain calm and stay at home. Regardless of that, always avoid touching your eyes, mouth or face. Whenever you have touched something, try to make it a habit to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Tip: If 20 seconds seem long, try singing the Happy Birthday song to pass time.

You should also always make a habit of thoroughly cleaning commonly-used surfaces like doorknobs, steering wheel, desks and so on. If you don’t have access to water, you can always use a hand sanitizer or wet wipes.

Stay safe and stay at home.

Pictures by Condair, Matthew Hamilton, Project Album, Kevin Lehtla, Linda Xu, Bruno Aguirre, Ryoji Iwata & Arnel Hasanovic

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