How long does coronavirus live on surfaces?

Diamond Princess cruise ship had areas that tested positive for COVID-19 17 days after everyone left the ship, CNBC reported.

Amazon workers at nine warehouses test positive for coronavirus, The Washington Post reported.

After reports like those, many people may be wondering how long the coronavirus lives once someone touches something or comes in contact with anything.

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It depends.


The New England Journal of Medicine found that COVID-19 can live in the air for up to three hours when researchers used a nebulizer to blow the virus into the air.


With more and more shipments being delivered, some may be worried that coronavirus could be lurking on the packages and mail.

Experts at Harvard said it can live on cardboard for up to 24 hours.

But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the post office said there is a low risk of transmission on packages, The New York Times reported.

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It appears that COVID-19 can last on copper for four hours.


COVID-19 can last on plastic for two to three days, Harvard found.

>> Got a question about the news? See our explainers here

Stainless steel

Stainless steel is about the same as plastics two to three days.

So how can you keep you and your family healthy?

The CDC said to clean things you touch frequently every day. Focus on counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and bedside tables.

To do it right, it may take a two-step process: cleaning with detergent and water if it is dirty, then disinfect the surfaces using one of the products the CDC has approved.

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Finally, remember to wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water, especially after you bring in packages or if you go to the grocery store or anyplace else where you could have picked up the virus, Harvard said.

Wash Your Hands by National Content Desk on Scribd