A team of researchers in Australia (Shane Riddell, Sarah Goldie, Andrew Hill, Debbie Eagles, and Trevor W. Drew) performed a study in a lab, a high containment laboratory, and finds that the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can survive on items such as banknotes and phones for up to 28 days in cool, dark conditions, at the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness.
The scientists observed that at 68 degrees Fahrenheit, SARS-CoV-2 was “extremely robust” on smooth surfaces — like cell phone and other touch screens — surviving for 28 days on glass, steel, and plastic banknotes.
At 86 degrees Fahrenheit, the survival rate dropped to seven days and jumped to just 24 hours at 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Increasing temperature appeared to decrease the span of virus survival. The next highest temperature level was 30 °C, which corresponds to 86 °F, which is room temperature.
CSIRO chief executive Dr. Larry Marshall said: “Establishing how long the virus really remains viable on surfaces enables us to more precisely predict and mitigate its spread, and do a sufficient job of protecting people.”