Tough times don’t last Tough people do

The increasing rate of COVID-19 cases that are being tracked down to community transmission in Canada has many worrying about contracting the virus during our regular routines, such as getting gas or going to the grocery store.

COVID-19 spreads when a person comes into contact with droplets that were released by an infected individual, either when they were sneezing, coughing, or speaking. A person can also contract the virus if they touch a contaminated object or surface and then touch their eyes, mouth or nose, but interestingly, the length of time that the virus lasts on a surface depends on what material it is.

study conducted by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases found that some materials are much riskier than others. The researchers found that COVID-19 can last up to 72 hours on plastic or stainless steel, 24 hours on cardboard, and four hours on copper.

This means that the riskiest surfaces include cellphones, computer mice, toilet handles, latex gloves and sponges, and metal doorknobs and faucets that do not contain copper. Microbes are quickly destroyed by copper and materials that contain copper because of the copper ions, which electrically charged particles that disrupt the outer layers of viruses and bacteria and ruin the genetic material that they use to replicate.