Tags: Coronavirus | virus | covid-19 | packages | germs

How to Handle Packages at Your Door

a ups driver delivers packages in new york city
A UPS driver delivers packages in New York City. (Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 24 March 2020 01:11 PM

With storefronts closed all over the country because of the coronavirus spread, retailers are encouraging us to shop online. Early data, according to Business Insider, shows that consumers are spending online dollars to obtain essentials and make discretionary purchases.

But experts warn that the packages arriving at your door are not sterile. In fact, many hands have handled the items to get them here.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that "the novel coronavirus may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials." According to Wirecutter, the virus that causes COVID-19 could survive on cardboard, for example, for 24 hours.

While the CDC does not give advice on disinfecting your packages, those in a higher risk group should dispose of outer packaging outside the home and wash their hands immediately after handling, says Wirecutter.

And don't forget to wash your hands after you touch the doorknob or the elevator button on the way back to your residence with your packages. Washing your hands will help reduce the risk of infection from these surfaces as well.

Delivery services also are doing their part to increase safety measures. UPS issued a statement that if any employee experiences symptoms such as fever or respiratory infection, they are to seek treatment immediately. You can also use UPS.com for free to leave instructions to have your deliveries directed to a specific location.

The United States Postal Service says it is following CDC guidelines and FedEx is also ensuring customers that their employees have been instructed to monitor their health and that it has asked anyone with flu-like symptoms to stay home. FedEx says it is sanitizing its stores and trucks regularly.

But if you want to be extra cautions, Rachel Graham, an epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina, told Business Insider that you can clean your packages. The most effective solutions contain 62% to 71% ethanol alcohol, 0.5% hydrogen peroxide, or 0.1% hypochlorite. Human coronaviruses could be "efficiently inactivated" in one minute using these solutions, according to a recent study conducted by the Journal of Hospital Infection, Business Insider reported.

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With storefronts closed all over the country because of the coronavirus spread, retailers are encouraging us to shop online. But experts warn that the packages arriving at your door are not sterile.
virus, covid-19, packages, germs
357
2020-11-24
Tuesday, 24 March 2020 01:11 PM
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