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Yes, COVID can be transferred through money

Viewers asked us whether COVID can be passed to others through dollar bills and coins.

SAN ANTONIO — Many of us have heard that the coronavirus can be passed from one person to another when exchanging objects. One of the most commonly exchanged objects is money, whether it is coins or dollar bills. 

VERIFY viewers wanted us to find out if it is possible to get the virus from another person who is infected, if they hand you dollar bills or coins. 


Can COVID be transferred through money, like dollar bills and coins?



This is true.


We are one and a half years into the coronavirus pandemic. We've learned a lot about the virus, but many of you still have questions. Several of you asked can the virus be spread through money. 

The short answer is: Well, it depends, because there are several factors that come into play.

Our sources for this VERIFY are Dr. Fred Campbell, an associate professor of medicine with UT Health San Antonio and the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.

"It appears that the virus can live on objects in public for several hours," said Campbell said. 

What about coins?

"Yes, apparently about the same amount of time, maybe a little longer," Campbell added.  

More important is the health of each person handling the money.

"The only time it would be possible to transmit the virus from objects would be if the object was recently sneezed or coughed on by an infected individual and then transferred from that object to your mouth or nose immediately." 

According to the CDC website where they state what bank employees need to know about COVID-19, it says, "As a bank employee, you could come into contact with the virus at your job by touching or handling items, cash, or paperwork and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes."

We also took a look at a report by the Bank of England which found 71% of respondents were using less cash than before the pandemic; 42% had visited a shop that did not accept cash in the previous months compared to 15 % this past January; and the value of cash in circulation has risen with more people holding on to it out of uncertainty for the future.

Campbell says the best way to protect yourself is to sanitize or wash your hands immediately after handing the dough. 

So yes, it is true. The virus can be transferred, but the more time after the money is handled, the less of a chance the virus is still alive.

More from VERIFY: Yes, scammers do try to impersonate AT&T and many other companies in text messages