SARS-CoV-2, also known as Covid-19, is a respiratory virus and the largest public health crisis the world has experienced in recent history. The main concern for Covid-19 is it easily transmitted by symptomatic people and people whom have not yet showed symptoms. The virus spreads through the respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. The main way it is transmitted is when these droplets land in the mouth or nose of another person, which is why there is such a heavy emphasis on wearing masks when interacting with other people in public. Although this is the most common way to spread Covid-19, it is not the only thing people should be concerned with. Evidence shows that the virus can survive on surfaces for an extended period of time; by touching these surfaces and then touching their mouth, nose, or eyes, people can get infected by Covid-19. A study done by the National Institute of Health, the CDC, and scientists from UCLA and Princeton University in The New England Journal of Medicine compares the survival time of SARS-Cov-2 on a variety of surfaces. According to the study, the virus was detectable in aerosols for up to three hours, up to four hours on copper, up to twenty-four hours on cardboard, and up to two to three days on plastic or stainless steel.
Most secondary transmissions of Covid-19 occur in community settings, but the stability of the virus in aerosols and surfaces is a reason why healthcare settings are also vulnerable. To prevent the spread of the virus through surfaces in home or healthcare settings, the CDC recommends regularly cleaning frequently touched surfaces and then use disinfectant.