High Touch Surfaces are those that have frequent contact with hands. They require more frequent cleaning and disinfection. We need to know various high-touch surfaces and how long COVID-19 can last on them to be able to stay safe in this challenging time.
According to scientists, there are many high-touch surfaces for COVID-19. They include groceries, packages, money, seats at public places, handles in public transit like buses etc. How long the virus can survive on these surfaces needs to be known.
The New England Journal of Medicine published a study that tested how long the virus can remain stable on different kinds of surfaces, though within controlled laboratory settings, but they are very important guides in this challenging time. They are:
Copper – 4 hours
cardboard – 24 hours
plastic – 72 hours
stainless steel -72 hours
However, the amount of virus decreased rapidly over time on each of the surfaces, meaning that the risk of infection from touching them would decrease over time as well. The activity of the virus on the surfaces is high time-dependent.
The study also revealed that one is not going to be infected by a single particle of the virus. To be infected depends on the amount of the virus at the touch surface. So the fewer viral particle one is exposed to, the less likely to be infected. The amount of virus on a surface is important for its damaging activity.
Therefore people are much more to be infected by close contact with an infected person than by touching a contaminated surface because of the higher amount of virus that can be contracted from infected persons.
The message is that there is a need to clean high contact surfaces regularly, and it is strongly advised to stay away from an infected person or people with the signs to have been infected. Social distancing becomes very important for it is not easy to know who is infected until tested.
Take the necessary precautions: sit at home and stay safe and if it is strictly unavoidable, ensure your hands are washed regularly and are sanitized.