How Long Can the Coronavirus Remain on Surfaces and in the Air
A new study suggests that the novel coronavirus COVID-19 can remain in the air for up to three hours, and live on surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel for up to three days. The research, published in the medRxiv depository, also notes that the virus can remain on copper surfaces for four hours and carboard for up to 24 hours. The research found it could stay on stainless steel and plastic for anywhere between two and three days. “Our results indicate that aerosol and fomite transmission of HCoV-19 is plausible, as the virus can remain viable in aerosols for multiple hours and on surfaces up to days,” the researchers wrote in the study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed.
The respiratory droplets in a cough or sneeze may remain in the air around us and in the air other people breathe for up to three hours. A person coughing will disperse respiratory drops outward from their mouth, and the droplets would carry in the airflow to any nearby surface, under a computer sitting on a desk, behind an appliance, on wall light switch and up towards ceiling lights, etc.
The research, published in the medRxiv depository, notes this novel virus can remain on copper surfaces for four hours and carboard for up to 24 hours. “Our results indicate that aerosol and fomite transmission of HCoV-19 is plausible, as the virus can remain viable in aerosols for multiple hours and on surfaces up to days,” the researchers wrote in the study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed.
Another study published in February concluded that if COVID-19 is similar to other coronaviruses, such as SARS or MERS, it could live on surfaces like metal, glass and plastic for up to nine days. By comparison, the flu virus can only live on surfaces for approximately 48 hours.
That study, published in the Journal of Hospital Infection, suggested that coronaviruses could be “efficiently inactivated” with disinfectants that contain “62–71 percent ethanol, 0.5 percent hydrogen peroxide or 0.1 percent sodium hypochlorite within 1 minute,” adding that other agents that contain “0.05–0.2% benzalkonium chloride or 0.02 percent chlorhexidine digluconate are less effective.”
There are a variety of tools one might use to disperse a sterilant in the air, as well as a variety of wipe down solutions that can be purchased to wipe hands and surfaces. If you have small areas, a wipe down or spray can of sanitizing liquid may benefit your small area. If you have large areas or medical rooms where many people travel thru all day, then a more robust approach would be suggested. The DF2S Dry Fogger has the capability to disperse a desired liquid sterilant in the form of an aerosol, reaching a high percentage of open areas and areas not accessible by wipe downs or spray machines, upwards of 35000 cubic feet per cycle. Choose the right liquid sterilant and chooses the right tool to sanitize the areas in need of sterilization.