Heat could be a key player in disinfecting facial masks.
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Heat could be a key player in disinfecting facial masks.

Heat could be a key player in the fight against COVID-19.

High temperatures around 130 to 150 degrees were previously effective in killing other strains of coronavirus, according to a Science Direct study. At that temperature, the viruses became inactive fairly quickly.

While that approach doesn't work for things like packages someone might get delivered from Amazon or UPS, it does prove effective in cleaning things like facial masks.

Travis Glenn, professor of environmental health science at the University of Georgia College of Public Health, told UGA Today that he believes heat works as a means to disinfect.

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The novel coronavirus will linger on cardboard shipping boxes for 24 hours, plastics for up to three days, and stainless steel for up to three days, according to a New England Journal of Medicine study.

Glenn's family lives in the colder midwest and offered his strategy to them. 

"I told my family to bring their packages inside," he said. "Once we turn on the A/C, then leave the packages in the garage.”

For those with clothes dryers, Glenn said tossing a facial mask in should work to disinfect it.

"If you wash and dry a cloth face mask on high heat, then you should be good to go,” he said.