Coronavirus can live on some surfaces longer than others. Which should you be most concerned about?

How worried should you be about catching COVID-19 coronavirus when you’re at work, the grocery store, or just bringing in the latest Amazon delivery? While coronavirus continues to be highly contagious, it’s not invincible. Without the proper environment, the virus’s viability breaks down.

Researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases have analyzed just how long the virus can last in various environments. Perhaps the most concerning is the virus’s ability to transmit through the air as an aerosol after a person has coughed or sneezed. The researchers found that it takes three hours for the virus to lose its viability. Don’t let that work you into a panic–that’s how long it takes the entirety of the virus to break down. The half-life, or amount of time it takes for half of the virus particles to lose viability, is 66 minutes–and as it continues to break down, your risk of infection also decreases.

Here’s a look at how long the virus can linger on other surfaces:ES

Droplets in the air from a cough or sneeze:

3 hours

Half-life: 66 minutes

Plastic and stainless steel: 3 days

Plastic half-life: 6 hours, 49 minutes

Stainless steel half-life: 5 hours, 38 minutes

Cardboard: Less than 24 hours

Half-life: 3 1/2 hours

Copper: 4 hours

Half-life: 46 minutes