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How long does the COVID-19 virus stay transmissible?

Currently, experts do not know exactly how long the virus can stay infectious because it is so new. Typically, viruses last longer on hard surfaces, like a countertop or plastic or metal playground equipment, than on soft surfaces, like a sleeve, because they depend on moisture to survive. Soft surfaces quickly absorb the moisture, leaving the virus unprotected and causing it to degrade more quickly. Scientists are estimating that the virus lasts for between a few hours to several days outside the body, and can last up to 24 hours on cardboard and 3 days on plastic or stainless steel.

Drafted: 18 March 2020

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