How Long Does COVID-19 Last On Surfaces?
The threat of COVID-19 is finally dying down, and we are ready to welcome the new year like old times - together. But the virus still hasn’t faded completely; it is doing the rounds of the UK streets even today. So celebrate the new year with enthusiasm and joy, but take a few good precautions as well. Stay safe by wearing masks at all times, and don’t discount the other ways in which you can contract the virus. More importantly, can COVID-19 live on surfaces, you should ask. Is it safe to go to a party without wearing gloves?
Is it Possible to Contract COVID-19 by Touching a Surface?
When the coronavirus infection was at its peak, we were made aware that it not only spread through respiratory droplets but also via surfaces. The theory was that an infected person touching a surface would transfer the virus to it, and those who touched the surface after that would contract it. Granted, the claim didn’t hold much water since subsequent research into it proved that the chances of getting infected by touching a surface were comparatively negligible.
Nonetheless, there was some chance of catching COVID that way, no matter how small, and there still is with the Omicron variant. This brings us to the question - how long does COVID live on surfaces? Will self-test kits like Healgen test kits show positive after touching a glass offered by the staff at a party? Should you lean on a railing that someone else has already touched?
How Long the Coronavirus Lives on Various Surfaces
Ideally, you don’t need to worry about contracting COVID after touching an infected surface if you have strong immunity. But if you have recently undergone some operation or experienced a drop in immunity for some reason, then you should be very careful about outside surfaces. The virus may last for anywhere between a few hours to a week or more on surfaces. It really depends on the conditions and the material of the surface.
- Plastic surface: around 3 days.
- Stainless steel surface: 3 days.
- Cardboard surface: 1 day.
- Copper surface: around 4 hours.
Air is a type of surface as well, and COVID-19 lasts for about 3 hours there. If you enter a room where an infected person was not more than three hours ago, then there is a chance that you may contract the virus by just breathing the same air. You would be better off buying a lateral flow test kit to check if you have been infected soon after coming back home from a party.
How Long Does Omicron Last on Surfaces?
It is a proven fact that the new Omicron mutation of COVID-19 on surfaces lasts for more time than its previous variants. For instance, the previous variants barely lasted for more than 7 days on plastic. But Omicron can survive for around 193.5 hours (over 8 days) on that surface. Also, did you know that it can thrive on your skin (we are not talking about inside your body) for a little over 21 hours? That’s a couple of hours more than the highest noted lasting period of any variant so far!
Can Coronavirus Survive on Textiles?
This is a good question since we tend to encounter textile products almost every hour of every day. We practically live inside those (our clothes)! So if you have taken all other precautions, you cannot afford to dismiss the possibility of contracting COVID through textiles. Thankfully, the virus doesn’t last long on clothes and other similar products. But it really depends on the material of the fabric.
- 100% cotton: 1 day.
- Polycotton: 6 hours.
- Polyester: Over 3 days.
Thus, avoid wearing polyester apparel and touching polyester materials since coronavirus lasts for the longest time on those. Even with other forms of textiles, make sure to wash them after every use. Ensure to check if you’ve been infected at a hospital, or buy Flowflex COVID-19 test kit for this purpose.