- Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV)-2 remains viable and infectious in aerosol for up to 3 hours and on some surfaces for up to 3 days.
Why this matters
- Personal, household hygiene strategies should be reinforced.
- Hospital workers engaging in aerosol-generating procedures should take extra precautions.
- SARS-CoV-2 is viable in aerosol for ~3 hours.
- Infectious titer declined from 10 3.5 to 10 2.7 TCID 50 /mL during that time (vs 10 4.3 to 10 3.5 TCID 50 /mL for SARS-CoV-1).
- SARS-CoV-2 exhibited more stability on plastic, stainless steel vs copper, and cardboard.
- Plastic: 10 3.7 to 10 0.6 TCID 50 /mL after 72 hours.
- Stainless steel: 10 3.7 to 10 0.6 TCID 50 /mL after 48 hours.
- Copper: no viable SARS-CoV-2 after 4 hours vs 8 hours for SARS-CoV-1.
- Cardboard: no SARS-CoV-2 after 24 hours vs 8 hours for SARS-CoV-1.
- Aerosol half-life across all experimental conditions:
- SARS-CoV-2: median, 1.1-1.2 (95% CI, 0.64-2.64) hours.
- SARS-CoV-1: 0.78-2.43 hours.
- SARS-CoV-2, longest median viability observed on:
- Stainless steel: 5.6 hours.
- Plastics: median 6.8 hours.
- Laboratory study evaluating aerosol, surface stability, decay rates of SARS-CoV-2 vs SARS-CoV-1 under 10 experimental, 5 environmental conditions (aerosols, plastic, stainless steel, copper, cardboard).
- Funding: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
- Controlled, experimental conditions.