People can become infected with SARS-CoV-2 through contact with surfaces, but the risk is considered to be low. The main way in which people become infected is through exposure to respiratory droplets carrying the virus. In most situations, cleaning surfaces with soap or detergent is enough to reduce the risk. Disinfection is recommended in indoor community settings where there has been a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.
The risk of fomite transmission can be reduced by consistently and correctly wearing masks, practicing hand hygiene, cleaning, and taking other steps to keep facilities healthy. The virus can also spread if someone touches their eyes, nose, or mouth after touching a surface or object with the virus. Without cleaning or disinfecting, the virus can remain on surfaces for hours to days. The risk of infection with COVID-19 from contact with contaminated surfaces is low.
To keep us safe, it is important to understand how long the virus can survive on common surfaces and what steps we need to take to reduce our risk of infection. Studies have shown that the virus can survive on different surfaces for different lengths of time. On plastic and stainless steel surfaces, the virus can survive for up to three days. On cardboard, it can survive for up to 24 hours.
On copper surfaces, it can survive for up to four hours. On glass and other non-porous surfaces, it can survive for up to five days. To reduce your risk of infection from contact with contaminated surfaces, it is important to practice good hygiene habits. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces regularly. Wear a face covering when in public settings and when around people who don't live in your household. It is also important to remember that while surface transmission of the virus is possible, it is not the main way in which people become infected with SARS-CoV-2.The main way in which people become infected is through exposure to respiratory droplets carrying the virus.
Therefore, it is important to practice social distancing and wear a face covering when around people who don't live in your household.