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Do Freezing Temperatures Kill The Coronavirus?

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED MAY 15, 2020

A number of sources suggest that freezing temperatures do not kill the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Four questions came to City Limits: Coronavirus asking whether the virus can be neutralized by freezing it.

Some researchers point to a 2010 study on two viruses related to the COVID-19 virus as an indication that those viruses survived longer in lower temperatures but don’t address freezing in particular.

And the Journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology cites the 2010 study, which looks at the effects of temperature and humidity on viral survival. The 2010 study found, in fact, that the virus survived longer in both lower temperatures and lower humidity. The journal article also said research done in 2006 “expected” the viruses studied would survive being frozen.

A Washington, D.C.,-based nonprofit called the Federation of American Scientists report the same conclusions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it is simply not known whether weather and temperature affect the spread of COVID-19. It states:

“Generally coronaviruses survive for shorter periods at higher temperatures and higher humidity than in cooler or dryer environments. However, we don’t have direct data for this virus, nor do we have direct data for a temperature-based cutoff for inactivation at this point. The necessary temperature would also be based on the materials of the surface, the environment, etc. Regardless of temperature please follow CDC’s guidance for cleaning and disinfection.”

This guidance includes frequently washing your hands and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces that are used often.

This post has been updated.

For the latest news and resources about COVID-19, bookmark our Coronavirus In Indiana page here.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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