Smartphones are germ magnets at best. With the spread of the new coronavirus, they are a potential vector of infection. The virus can live on your phone screen for days.
Up to 96 hours, as far as we know
The CDC says it’s possible get COVID-19 if you touch a surface that has the SARS-CoV-2 virus and then touch your mouth, nose or maybe even your eyes. organization recommend clean and sanitize «high touch surfaces» daily.
According to the World Health Organization, the original SARS-CoV virus since 2003 has been stable on glass surfaces for up to 96 hours (four days). Duration on stainless steel and plastic surfaces up to 72 hours (three days). For more details, see page 29, under “Stability and resistance to SARS coronavirus”, in this report about the virus of Original SARS of the World Health Organization.
A recent study by National Institute of Health found that the current new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) can live on surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel for up to 72 hours (three days).
The scientists did not test how long the last coronavirus on the glass lasted, but otherwise had similar results to the previous SARS coronavirus.
From what we know, it would be better to assume that the new coronavirus can remain present and infectious in the glass for four days. This applies to any glass screen device, from iPhone and Android phones to iPads and Windows touchscreen laptops.
Disinfect your phone after going out in public
In theory, you can quarantine your phone for four days each time you touch it to make sure it’s not contaminated with the new coronavirus.
But in the real world, you’re probably constantly touching your phone and spreading the virus on your phone to other surfaces. Coronavirus can last a long time on glass surfaces, so regular disinfection of your smartphone is essential.
To stay safe, we recommend disinfect your smartphone every time you wear it in public. When I get back home, wash your hands thoroughly and disinfect your smartphone at the same time. If you wash your hands without disinfecting your smartphone, you can touch it, take the SARS-CoV-2 virus on your fingers, and then spread it to other surfaces or your face, which could lead to an infection.
If you are away for a while, consider it use regularly disinfectant wipes to clean your phone, just as you would regularly use hand sanitizer or wash your hands. You should avoid touching your face in public (and in general), but you should especially avoid touching your face after touching the phone, if it is potentially contaminated.
A contaminated phone screen is also a risk if you must hold the phone close to your face to answer a call. It is best to keep your phone as clean as possible.
If you have an Apple Watch, you can use Apple Pay with Apple Watch to pay for things without taking out the phone and touching it. be sure clean your watch along with hands and phone. Some other smart watches and fitness bands also include contactless payments, including Galaxy Watch (Samsung Pay) watches, Google Wear OS smart watches ( Google Pay ) Yes some Fitbits (Fitbit Pay).
How long does the virus last on other surfaces?
The same NIH study also showed that the virus can last on cardboard for up to 24 hours, copper for up to four hours and even in the form of aerosols for up to three hours. This is what you need to know about the presence of coronavirus on different surfaces.
By the way, viruses are not considered technically «alive», so it is technically inaccurate to talk about how long they can «live» on surfaces. We refer to viruses as «alive» if they are still infectious. After enough time outside a living cell and exposure to the elements, the virus decomposes, disintegrates and becomes unable to infect anyone.