When an individual sheds viruses onto a surface or object by sneezing, coughing or defecating, these viruses will die off and the number of infectious viruses on the surface will decrease over time. SARS-CoV-2 can survive on surfaces for hours to days depending on surface type, temperature and humidity. Seven laboratory studies were identified in a recent systematic review that assessed the persistence of SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces: the resulting half-lives (time needed for the number of viruses to be reduced by 50%) were between 2.2 and 18 hours on stainless steel, nitrile and plastic surfaces. Factors influencing survival of coronaviruses on surfaces are discussed in this review.
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