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How long can coronavirus live on clothes? Here's what scientists say about it

The CDC has three key steps you can take to protect your family from COVID-19.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — One of the most popular questions on Google is: how long does coronavirus live on clothes? The answer comes up a little short: scientists don't know yet.

A New England Journal of Medicine study found coronavirus can stay in the air for up to three hours and on plastic and metal for up to three days, but the study did not test fabric. The closest they came to clothing is a cardboard box - the virus lasted up to 24 hours on that.

Scientists don't have an exact answer, but you can't skirt the issue. The CDC says don't shake dirty laundry. "This will minimize the possibility of dispersing the virus through the air," the CDC website reads. The CDC also says you should launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting, and wash your hands afterward. 

Plus, doctors say you should be careful about your shoes.

RELATED: VERIFY: Can the soles of shoes carry the coronavirus?

"You can transmit a lot of bacteria that are on the floor to other places," said Dr. Jyotu Sandhu.

The best thing to do is wipe shoes down with disinfectant before you go inside your house.

"It really just removes all the potential bugs that made contact with the surface of the floor," he said.

It's a step in the right direction to keeping your family safe.

RELATED: This is how you catch the coronavirus

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Ben Briscoe. 3,042 likes · 239 talking about this. Weekend anchor/investigative reporter in North Carolina for WFMY News 2. Murrow winner and always on the hunt for a story which could make a difference.

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