Pandemic Resource Center

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How long COVID-19 remains infectious on various surfaces

A study published on March 17, 2020 in the New England Journal of Medicine reveals how long the virus that causes COVID-19 remains detectable on various surfaces and as an aerosol. Scientists discovered the virus is detectable for :

  • up to three hours in aerosols,
  • up to four hours on copper,
  • up to 24 hours on cardboard; and
  • up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel.

The study’s authors are from UCLA, the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Princeton University. They include Amandine Gamble, a UCLA postdoctoral researcher in Lloyd-Smith’s laboratory.

Here is an easy to read summary of the study.

Here is the study itself.

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