NATIONWIDE -- While you’re likely sheltered in your home during the COVID-19 outbreak, it may have occurred to you that efforts to sanitize should be extended to mail and packages coming to and leaving your home.
- Health organizations have not documented spread of COVID-19 via mail or package delivery
- Disinfecting packages and immediately disposing of boxes may be good habits
- USPS and shipping companies employing sanitation and social distancing measures
While it’s a legitimate concern, the good news is, according to the Centers for Disease Control and the Surgeon General, there is no evidence to suggest COVID-19 is being spread through the mail.
The World Health Organization stated, in part: “The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, traveled, and been exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.”
Still, there is some evidence the virus can live on packaging for a time. You might want to consider wiping down your package with disinfectant and then disposing of the box quickly. Then wipe down the contents of the box, and when you’re done with that, wash your hands thoroughly.
If you’re still concerned, consider leaving a package in a safe location such as a garage for a few days before opening it.
The United States Postal Service has put safeguards in place. Among them are the following:
- Millions of masks, gloves and cleaning supplies are being furnished to 30,000 USPS locations
- Postal workers are practicing social distancing measures with customers in order to minimize the risk of infection
- Customers are currently not required to sign Mobile Delivery Devices for delivery
- Employees are permitted to stay home any time they feel sick; those employees who can work from home are doing so
UPS is taking similar precautions. Among them are the following:
- Consignees no longer need to sign for UPS Signature Required deliveries. However, a driver may still need to make contact with you and, where applicable, you may still need to produce a government-issued ID
- UPS employees are following guidelines issued to prevent the spread of COVID-19
Similarly, FedEx has suspended Signature Required for most packages. It has also put the following safeguards in place:
- Store hours and available services have been adjusted
- The company is monitoring guidance by the CDC, WHO, and other public health organizations
- Employees are being provided with sanitizer and disinfectants
- Drivers are observing social distancing measures
Amazon has similar protective measures in place.