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ACEP COVID-19 Field Guide

Table of Contents

COVID-19 Aerosol and Surface Stability

Home Safety

Depending on the type of surface, COVID-19 may be viable for hours or potentially days. A summary of the findings are included in Table 2.1.1

Table 2.1 Viability of COVID-19 on various surfaces.

Viability of COVID-19 on various surfaces

These findings are important, as contamination of surfaces with droplets of the COVID-19 virus is possible and can persist. Coming into contact with contaminated surfaces and subsequently transferring the virus to mucous membranes may transmit the virus and infection. 

It is important to limit the spread and transmission of the virus by: 

  • Decontaminating surfaces, especially those that have high utilization and contact frequency (eg, counters, tabletops, doorknobs, keyboards, tablets);
  • Practicing hand hygiene;
  • Avoiding touching the face; and
  • Ensuring appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) utilization. 


  1. van Doremalen N, Bushmaker T, Morris DH, et al. Aerosol and surface stability of SARS-CoV-2 as compared with SARS-CoV-1 [published online ahead of print, 2020 Mar 17]. N Engl J Med. 2020;NEJMc2004973. doi:10.1056/NEJMc2004973

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