The COVID-19 virus can live on surfaces for days.
COVID-19 is spread primarily through respiratory droplets. When an infected person sneezes or coughs, the virus can travel from one person to another, either directly (which is why the CDC recommends maintaining at least a 6-foot distance from other people) or via an intermediate surface. The virus can also spread through the air, but this is more likely in crowded, indoor areas with poor ventilation than in areas with plenty of outdoor air and fewer people.
Researchers have found that the virus can live up to 24 hours on cardboard and 2 to 3 days on plastic and stainless steel. The CDC reports that the virus was detected on surfaces of the Diamond Princess cruise ship up to 17 days after passengers disembarked. However, only pieces of the virus were detectable, not viruses capable of infecting a person.