HONG KONG — New research shows SARS-CoV-2 can survive on the outer layer of a surgical mask for seven days.
New research published in medRxive by medical specialists in Hong Kong shows how long SARS-CoV-2 can survive on different surfaces and in different environments.
The researchers pipetted a droplet of virus culture on several surfaces including paper, tissue paper, wood, cloth, glass, a banknote, stainless steel, plastic, the inner layer of a surgical mask and the outer layer of a surgical mask.
Results showed that there was no trace of the infectious virus on printing and tissue paper three hours after incubation.
The infectious virus stopped being present on wood and cloth by Day 2 after incubation.
Glass surfaces and banknotes had no trace of the virus by Day 4.
Stainless steel and plastic surfaces had no detectable virus on their surfaces by Day 7.
However, the infectious virus could still be detected on the outer layer of a surgical mask by Day 7.
The research concludes that although the virus is stable in a wide range of environments, it is still vulnerable to standard disinfection methods.
Previous research by American health officials and experts published in medRxiv showed that the novel coronavirus can survive in air particles for several hours and on some surfaces for up to three days.