The virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on some surfaces for two or three days, new study finds

As the deadly coronavirus known as COVID-19 continues to spread across the globe — including here in the United States, where the death toll has just surpassed 100 — a new study has found that the virus that causes the disease can survive on some surfaces for up to several days.

Scientists from the National Institutes of Health, CDC, UCLA, and Princeton University have discovered “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 findings of the study, which seem to show that the coronavirus can indeed be contracted via air or after touching contaminated surfaces, reinforce the idea that you should follow the CDC’s guidelines when it comes to protecting yourself and others from the disease.

Maintaining about six feet of distance from others, washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces daily, covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow, and staying home if you feel sick are all actions the CDC recommends you take in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus to yourself or others.

The full study, which was published in The New England Journal of Medicine, can be found here.