This is How Long Coronavirus Can Survive on Plastic, Cardboard and in the Air


The virus that causes COVID-19 can hang around on plastic packaging and plastic medical equipment for up to three days after contamination, a pre-print paper from researchers at the National Institute of Health suggests.

The team behind the paper looked at how long the virus that causes the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) can survive on different substances from cardboard to copper, comparing its lifespan to the virus that causes SARS (SARS-CoV-1).

The results show that the COVID-19 virus appears to survive longest on plastic (polypropylene) and stainless steel, where it can survive for two to three days after the initial contamination. It did the least well on copper, lasting up to four hours, and can survive on cardboard for a day—up to 24 hours—post-contamination.