Windham Public Library

217 Windham Center Road, Windham, Maine 04062
(Phone) 207-892-1908 ; (Fax) 207-892-1915

Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm

See our webpage for our safe opening guidelines

Special hours or closings will be posted on homepage

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Handwashing Importance and Science

How long can the COVID-19 virus survive outside the body?

Research shows that it can survive in droplets for up to three hours after being coughed into the air and can remain airborne for several hours in still air.  It can survive up to 24 hours on cardboard and 2-3 days on plastic and stainless steel surfaces.  Copper surfaces tended to kill the virus in about four hours.  It is unclear on how long it can survive on clothing and other surfaces hard to disinfect.


“The ability of the virus to linger for so long only underlines the importance of hand hygiene and cleaning surfaces.” — Vincent Munster, head of virus ecology, Rock Mountain Laboratories


To read this article from the BBC click here.


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What You Need to Know

The Science