The coronavirus can survive in droplets in the air for hours and on surfaces for up to days, according to a new study from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Scientists used aerosol to mimic the virus deposited by a cough or sneeze or from touching an object, then investigated how long the virus was infectious on those surfaces.
The study showed that a virus can remain viable after someone coughs or sneezes for at least three hours, and up to three days on plastic or stainless steel.The virus was not viable on cardboard after 24 hours and after 4 hours on copper.
The study also showed that the virus has a half-life of around 66 minutes if it is in an aerosol droplet, meaning half the virus particles will lose function after that time. On stainless steel, the half-life is 5 hours 38 minutes and 6 hours 49 minutes on plastic. It was around 3 and a half hours on cardboard and around 46 minutes on copper.