Inside the secret DHS lab testing how long coronavirus can survive on shopping carts and in sunlight


Their work is guided by a “master question list” intended to quickly summarize what is known about the virus, what additional information is needed, and which other research entities across the country are working to answer those questions. The list includes questions such as “how much agent will make a healthy individual ill?”, “how does it spread from one host to another?” and “how long after infection do symptoms appear?” Each question is updated in a weekly report with two sections: “What do we know?” and “What do we need to know?”

The approach is modeled after similar work undertaken in 2015 in response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Preliminary results from the lab’s testing were first revealed by William Bryan, the acting undersecretary for science and technology at Homeland Security, during a White House coronavirus press briefing two weeks ago.

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