COVID-19 survives on phones, money for 28 days in lab setting: Study


  • Research from Australia’s national science agency suggests that the COVID-19 virus can survive on smooth surfaces for 28 days at room temperature.
  • The study tested the virus on glass mobile phone screens, plastic and paper banknotes, and stainless steel.
  • Researchers kept these surfaces in the dark during the study. UV light has been shown to kill COVID-19.
  • Previous studies have suggested the virus lingers on these surfaces for seven days or less.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The COVID-19 virus can survive on phone screens for 28 days under laboratory conditions, longer than previously thought, new research from the Australian government’s science agency has found. 

Researchers tested the virus on smooth surfaces such as glass phone screens and paper banknotes. They kept them in the dark at room temperature, around 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit).

They found the virus could survive for just under a month in these conditions.

UV light has been shown to kill COVID-19 in previous research.

The findings of the study, conducted by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, were published on October 7 in Virology Journal.

Previous research suggested that SARS-Cov-2 survives on glass and bank notes for about two to three days, and lingers on plastic and stainless steel for six days at most. One study, published in The Lancet, suggested the virus suggests the virus can survive for seven days for stainless steel.

In the latest study, the virus did not survive on porous materials such as cloth past a 14-day period. In comparison, the flu virus can survive on these surfaces in the same conditions for 17 days.

The study also found that increasing the temperature reduced the survivability of the virus to as little as 24 hours at 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) on some surfaces.

One of SF’s oldest thrift shops survives in the heart of the Mission District


There’s a peculiar sound coming from inside the magenta building at 623 Valencia St.

The muffled crinkling of plastic sanitary gloves accompanies customers as they hurriedly sift through secondhand clothing racks, unusually tidy bookshelves and rows of assorted knick-knacks. Laughter rings out from another corner of the shop, where a group of masked teenage girls unfurl posters to reveal faded images of Gumby and Vincent Van Gogh. The synth pop drawl of Thomas Dolby’s “She Blinded Me with Science” echoes over the speakers as more people line up on the sidewalk outside of Community Thrift, where in-store shopping has resumed for the first time in months.
The steel garage door typically intended for moving large donations has been lifted to safely allow customers through. In its place is a seated employee shielded by a clear, glass divider. One by one, she provides each guest with a pump of hand sanitizer, followed by a pair of disposable gloves, and gestures them toward a pile of multicolored shopping baskets, sending them on their way.

The bustle is a relief for this rummager’s paradise, and though business is unusual, the oldest independent thrift store left in San Francisco is doing what it can to survive.

“Things are definitely picking up, but we’re not doing business like we used to,” interim executive director Brian Stump tells me over the phone.

Community Thrift, in the Mission District of San Francisco, opened in 1982 and supports over 200 Bay Area charities.

Community Thrift, in the Mission District of San Francisco, opened in 1982 and supports over 200 Bay Area charities.

Blair Heagerty / SFGATE

The Mission District was once considered a thrifter’s haven, peppered with retro boutiques and resale shops. But circumstances proved challenging for small businesses, even prior to the pandemic. As rents soared, independent retailers simply couldn’t keep up. Secondhand shops in particular have disappeared from the neighborhood in rapid-fire succession: Clothes Contact,