If it lands in the air, the virus can land on a particle and stay floating there for up to 3 hours.
Is that true?
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This answer was originally written in late March of 2020, at which point the coronavirus pandemic was, in many countries, far from its peak. In the intervening time, there have been various studies continuing to investigate the possible spread of coronavirus via aerosols and respiratory droplets. I haven't taken a detailed look at recent studies, so I'm not ready to update this, but the takeaway is that our understanding of the virus has gotten better, and it's possible that the study discussed below can now be corroborated or refuted. The underlying point - that the video is based on one set of data points which arguably don't mimic real-world conditions well - is of course still valid.
Tl;DR: The claim in the video appears to be based on a single recent study of the median half-life of SARS-CoV-2 (more on that below). That study was based on the measurements of virus concentrations over only a short period of time and under conditions unlikely to be found in the real world. While the study's results indicate the virus can stay around for hours in the air, that doesn't necessarily jibe with what we've been seeing around the world.
A later, abbreviated version of the preprint Laurel mentions, published in the New England Journal of Medicine as Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1, measured the half-lives of SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 in a variety of environments, including aerosols, cardboard, and plastic. This version lists the median viable half-lives of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV-1 as 1.09 hours and 1.39 hours, respectively, with 97.5% upper confidence limits of 2.64 hours and 2.43 hours. I'm not sure how to account for the discrepancy between the two versions of the paper.
(Note that this is a half-life, so even if we take those median half-lives as the actual half-lives of the viruses, some samples stayed in the air for much longer than that - the half-life is not an upper limit. The paper does not provide an upper limit; the virus was only studied for 3 hours.)
Now, the aerosol measurements were conducted at 65% relative humidity and 21-23°C. This is important to note, because previous research on SARS-CoV-1 indicates that higher humidity and higher temperature can severely decrease the virus half-life (and vice versa for lower humidity and lower temperatures).
Another thing to bear in mind is that coronaviruses are not expected to spread primarily through aerosols, but rather in droplet form. To quote a microbiologist not associated with the study:
The NIAID study "is measuring virus under ideal conditions and with a lot of virus," said microbiologist Benjamin tenOever of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. "So their results are all likely to be overestimates. That said, I think those values should at least be used to let people know that things like subway poles can harbor virus for more time than I would have considered possible," because an aerosol that encounters a solid object can stick to it. "Washing hands is more important than ever."
And, as noted earlier in that article:
"If it could easily exist as an aerosol, we would be seeing much greater levels of transmission," said epidemiologist Michael LeVasseur of Drexel University. "And we would be seeing a different pattern in who’s getting infected. With droplet spread, it’s mostly to close contacts. But if a virus easily exists as an aerosol, you could get it from people you share an elevator with."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that is not happening.
In other words, let's take the study's half-life results - regardless of the version of the paper - with a grain of salt. They were derived under artificial conditions, not real-world environments, and it's not clear that aerosol transmission is significant at all, given actual data. More study is definitely needed.
This is probably referencing Aerosol and surface stability of HCoV-19 (SARS-CoV-2) compared to SARS-CoV-1. (Note that CoV-1 is the 2003 Coronavirus.) They used a “Collison nebulizer” to get the virus into the air and took samples periodically, with the last one being 3 hours later.
According to the study:
We found that viable virus could be detected in aerosols up to 3 hours post aerosolization [...] HCoV-19 and SARS-CoV-1 exhibited similar half-lives in aerosols, with median estimates around 2.7 hours.