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Can COVID-19 be passed via currencies (dollar bills, coins, checks, etc.)?

Yes, SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes the disease COVID-19) can survive on surfaces like dollar bills. How long the virus survives is dependent on the surface itself as well as environmental conditions. At most, the virus will persist for 2-3 days under optimal conditions.

Preliminary findings suggest that COVID-19 may persist on money for a longer period of time than cardboard/paper-based products because cash in the United States is composed of 25% linen and 75% cotton, not paper.

Current research has shown that cash may be a potential vector of transmissible diseases, such as bacteria and viruses; however, no research has been done on COVID-19 virus specifically. For this reason, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends thoroughly washing hands after handling money and moving towards cashless payment methods when possible.

References

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/260398093_Paper_money_and_coins_as_potential_vectors_of_transmissible_disease

https://www.journalofhospitalinfection.com/article/S0195-6701(20)30046-3/pdf

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8088067/Coronavirus-spread-cash-warns-WHO.html

https://fullfact.org/health/coronavirus-WHO-cash-comments/

https://www.moneyfactory.gov/hmimpaperandink.html

https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMc2004973

Drafted 20 March 2020