HEALTH MINUTE: CORONAVIRUS AND CLEANING

You may be surprised at how long the virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on surfaces. A recent study breaks down the numbers.

It’s a vicious virus that spreads easily, and a recent study shows the virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on surfaces for hours – or even days.

The results published in the New England Journal of Medicine say that COVID-19 can hang out as droplets and remain in the air for up to three hours. The study found that the novel coronavirus can survive up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and two to three days on plastic and stainless steel.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continue to recommend the cleaning of frequently-touched surfaces and objects every day, including counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. If the surfaces are dirty, clean them first with detergent and water, then disinfect them.

The CDC recommends diluted bleach solutions – five tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water – and alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol. The agency said most household cleaners or disinfectants registered with the Environmental Protection Agency should be effective, too.

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