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Infographic: How Long Does Coronavirus Live on Surfaces?

Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself from COVID-19. That’s because your hands come into contact all day long with surfaces that may be covered with germs, bacteria, and viruses. Once on your hands, if you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, those germs can make you sick. Research shows that the coronavirus can live on certain surfaces for up to 2 or 3 days.

There’s no proof that you can contract the novel coronavirus by touching contaminated surfaces. But just in case you can, this infographic shows how long COVID-19 may live on a variety of surfaces based on research conducted by scientists at the National Institutes of Health, Princeton University, the University of California, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Coronavirus on Surfaces

To stay safe, wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20-30 seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.

infographic of how long does coronavirus live on surfaces

Infographic Text: How Long Does Coronavirus Live on Surfaces?

Although there’s no proof you can contract coronavirus by breathing it from the air or touching contaminated surfaces, recent research shows the virus may live on surfaces for up to 2-3 days.

  • How long can COVID-19 live on different surfaces?
    • Air: up to 3 hours
    • Copper: up to 4 hours
    • Cardboard: up to 24 hours
    • Plastic: up to 2-3 days
    • Stainless steel: up to 2-3 days
  • But according to the CDC, there are no documented cases of a person getting infected from a surface contaminated with COVID-19. Transmission usually happens when people come in direct contact with respiratory droplets from an infected person when they cough or sneeze.


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