Here’s an advantage to be had from parking your car under direct sunlight, and something that could be helped by our tropical climate. Heat is key to killing coronavirus, according to Travis Glenn, professor of environmental health science at the University of Georgia College of Public Health.

“Coronavirus lives a few days on many surfaces at room temperature, but it dies far faster at higher temperatures. It will also live a lot longer if the temperatures are low. Storing packages in a cold garage is not likely to reduce coronavirus on or in those packages,” Glenn said.

A strain of coronavirus – SARS CoV-1 – that is very similar to the SARS CoV-2 strain which causes Covid-19 is known to become inactive at high heat levels, around 130 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit (54.4 to 65.5 degrees Celsius), according to the report.

“If you heat a material up to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the high setting on a dryer or a very low oven setting, you only need about 20 minutes to kill greater than 99.99% of the virus. “If you’re heating up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, then you only need about five minutes to kill greater than 99.99%,” said Glenn.

“Parked cars get rather hot on sunny days, so you can either rotate two masks, leaving on in the car while you shop, or just leave your mask in the car when you get home, as long as you’re parking some place warm,” said the professor. Of course, be mindful to not leave behind any children or pets as you do so.

An oven or a dryer could also be a very effective way of disinfecting masks, he said. More testing still needs to be done, though initial findings have revealed that higher temperatures mean shorter times before the virus dies, said Glenn. This could be helpful to anyone who is on the move and therefore needs to wear masks daily, and who may need a quicker or more convenient way of disinfecting between uses.

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