FACT OR FICTION: How long can COVID-19 survive on surfaces?

FACT OR FICTION: How long can COVID-19 survive on surfaces?
(Source: AP)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - COVID-19 may be a new type of coronavirus, but there are dozens of studies about other known strains and how long they can live on surfaces.

SARS, MERS and others can live for days on metal, glass and plastic.

“It can live on surfaces. It can live on hard surfaces for up to nine days. That’s a reason we’re telling folks to clean surfaces frequently,” said Dr. Robert Oliverio with Ropert St. Francis.

He said picking up a virus from a surface is called fomite transmission.

A fomite is a place a virus can live.

"If you're worried, rub down door handles, rub down banisters, rub down arms of chairs and table tops with a bleach solution, hydrogen peroxide or alcohol. And wash your hands if you've touched those things," Dr. Oliverio said.

As for boxes or mail, the CDC says, “There is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks.”

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