The COVID-19 virus can persist in the air and on surfaces for hours, if not days, according to a new study performed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), CDC, UCLA and Princeton University.
Researchers and scientists found that the new coronavirus was detectable and stable on contaminated objects, suggesting that people could become infected in numerous ways.
The study attempted to mimic the virus being deposited from an infected person onto surfaces in household or hospital settings, such as through coughing or touching objects. Scientists investigated how long the virus remained infectious on those surfaces.
“The scientists found that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was detectable in aerosols for up to three hours, 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 National Institutes of Health said.
Evidence suggests, according to scientists, that people may be spreading the virus without knowing.”Most secondary cases of virus transmission appear to be occurring in community settings rather than healthcare settings,” the study said.