How long can the new coronavirus live on a surface, like say, a door handle, after someone infected touches it with dirty fingers? A recent study finds that the virus can survive on hard surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel for up to 72 hours and on cardboard for up to 24 hours.
It’s useful to know how long it can stay alive of course, because the virus can contaminate surfaces when an infected person sneezes or coughs. Virus-laden respiratory droplets can land on doorknobs, elevator buttons, handrails, barrier gates, door push buttons, forklift steering wheels, among other things — and spread the virus to anyone who then touches these surfaces.
So if the coronavirus can last up to 3 days on a door handle if left uncleaned. How many people touch and go through that doorway in that time? Is this a risk in your facility? What are some things you can do to mitigate this risk?
1. Sanitation Protocol
• Encourage staff to wash their hands when arriving at work first thing in the morning, and then periodically throughout the day before and after interacting with communal surfaces. Automatic sanitiser gel dispensers are highly recommended, if possible.
• Request staff to regularly wipe down any communal areas, door handles and any other common touch points regularly by disinfecting surfaces with 62-71% alcohol, or 0.5% hydrogen peroxide bleach or household bleach containing 0.1% sodium hypochlorite.
2. Touchless Activations
• Manual-operated or activated doors have proven to be a risk at facilities. This can be easily and inexpensively addressed by changing the activation model from manual to automatic, and upgrading to touchless activations. There are a lot of different options out there, and we can help you to decide what would work best for your facility.