We are seeing different values for how long this virus can persist on surfaces with the more recent data suggesting: copper 4 hours, plastic & stainless steel 3 days and, other studies stainless steel 9 days.

What's the latest data?

  • 1-2 days on soft surfaces such as cardboard and 7-10 days on hard surfaces such as metal and glass (according to someone they interviewed on BBC news but I can't remember who, hence only commenting)
    – Gamora
    Commented Mar 26, 2020 at 9:17
  • That's old data Commented Mar 26, 2020 at 19:26
  • I saw that on the BBC evening before last
    – Gamora
    Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 9:20

1 Answer 1


An early release paper dated 23 March 2020 is now staying that SARS-CoV-2 RNA has been recovered 17 days after both infected and asymptomatic presumed infected passengers left the cabins of the Diamond Pricess cruise ship.

The discovery of virus on surfaces of asymptomatic passengers again demonstrates that viral shedding occurs in this phase in amounts sufficient to contaminate the environment.

SARS-CoV-2 RNA was identified on a variety of surfaces in cabins of both symptomatic and asymptomatic infected passengers up to 17 days after cabins were vacated on the Diamond Princess but before disinfection procedures had been conducted (Takuya Yamagishi, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, personal communication, 2020). Although these data cannot be used to determine whether transmission occurred from contaminated surfaces, further study of fomite transmission of SARS-CoV-2 aboard cruise ships is warranted.

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6912e3.htm Public Health Responses to COVID-19 Outbreaks on Cruise Ships — Worldwide, February–March 2020 Early Release / March 23, 2020 / 69

  • Was it active virus or traces of RNA? Was it capable of infecting active living cells? Commented Mar 25, 2020 at 15:39
  • As per the link it's a personal communication so that level of detail is not known. Commented Mar 26, 2020 at 3:49

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