Dr. Frank McGeorge: Tracking coronavirus on surfaces

The COVID-19 virus can live on surfaces for several days. But what about food?
The COVID-19 virus can live on surfaces for several days. But what about food?

DETROIT – A new report found traces of COVID-19 on surfaces inside a cruise ship more than two weeks after passengers were on board.

An important point that needs to be clarified is that they only reported finding genetic remnants -- the RNA -- on the surfaces. There’s no indication that this represented the actually contagious virus.

RELATED: Questions about coronavirus (COVID-19)? Ask Dr. McGeorge

Nonetheless, it does speak to the more important point: the virus does survive on surfaces.

COVID-19 can remain contagious on plastic and stainless steel for at least 72 hours. On more porous surfaces, like paper or cardboard, the survival length is shorter.

This is why health experts keep urging people to keep washing their hands and to avoid touching their faces.

Another topic of concern is food. It’s important to wash all fruits and vegetables before consumption.

People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

Question about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge here.

Read more about coronavirus here.


About the Authors:

Dr. McGeorge can be seen on Local 4 News helping Metro Detroiters with health concerns when he isn't helping save lives in the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.