How long can Coronavirus survive on different surfaces?

Outsource Safety LtdSafety newsHow long can Coronavirus survive on different surfaces?
April 30, 2020 Posted by Roger Hart

WHow long can Coronavirus survive on different surfaces?hen preparing your workplace for reoccupation you have a number of issues to consider one of which is how long can Coronavirus survive on different surfaces?.  For our clients support under our Safety~net competent person service we have created a risk map document which guides you through this process.  This document dynamically links to this post and others like it and also to specific checklists, signs, risk assessments, toolbox talks and other documents which support your return to work.  If you are a retained client, or would like to become one, then please contact us for a download link..

How long can Coronavirus survive on different surfaces?

The virus itself is encased in a membrane that can be broken down by different chemicals including simple soap.  Whilst washing your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds is great advice for us we cannot apply this as easily to our workplaces.  There are a number of different options from bleach solutions (1000ppm available chlorine, see our blog on cleaning your workplace) to high alcohol gels (70% recommended).

The next question you will have is how often to sanitise the areas you have and the information below will help.  If you would like to review the research report you can find it here; Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1

Coronavirus survival rates on different surfaces:

  • Paper – 1 hour
  • Copper – 2 hours
  • Cardboard – 23 hours
  • Wood – 2 days
  • Cloth – 2 days
  • Stainless steel – 2-3 days
  • Plastic – 3 days
  • Glass – 4 days
  • Paper money (notes) – 4 days
  • Outside of a face mask – 7 days

The above information is approximate and affected by other factors such as temperature, UV exposure and humidity. 

Based on this information you may conclude the following;

  • Hard surfaces require more frequent cleaning;
    • Glass
    • Metal
    • Plastics
  • Money handling should be avoided where possible through electronic payments;
  • Goods storage/receipt will have higher risks from plastic rather than cardboard packaging;
  • Shared cups and glasses should be avoided;
  • Used facemasks should be clearly marked, double bagged and stored securely for 72 hrs before disposal.

We hope that this information helps you.  If you have any questions relating to Coronavirus please contact your retained safety consultant if you are a member of our Safety~net competent person service. We have a number of documents available for retained clients including model risk assessments, flow charts on isolation, administering first aid and home working, toolbox talks for office-based and field-based staff and similar documents which are being developed each day.  We’re still open, our phone lines are live and we’re ready to help when needed.