You won’t believe how long it can live.

A new study reveals how long the COVID-19 virus can survive on a variety of different and common materials.

The research, conducted by U.S. government scientists from multiple organizations as well as UCLA and Princeton, looked at four likely materials: Air, as that’s what transmits droplets from coughing or sneezing; copper, which is prized for its antibacterial properties; cardboard, as that’s what most things delivered to our homes arrive in; plastic, as it’s a common surface that’s easy to clean; and stainless steel, also a common surface that’s easy to clean.

The research was funded by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH); the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA); the U.S. National Science Foundation and the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP, RC-2635) of the U.S. Department of Defense.

Here’s what they found:

  • Air: “Up to 3 hours”
  • Copper: “Up to 4 hours”
  • Cardboard: “Up to 24 hours”
  • Plastic (Polypropylene): “Up to 2-3 days”
  • Stainless Steel: “Up to 2-3 days”

medical reference: Core77