There is a lot of misinformation and confusion about the coronavirus because it is so new to the general public and the government alike. With Amazon and other companies now making their delivery services more robust, the big question is, do you need to disinfect your packages? While scientists are still learning the specifics about how long coronavirus can survive on surfaces, there is early evidence that shows that this virus can live on various surfaces from several hours to several days. We do know that the virus can survive on cardboard for 24 hours and plastic for one to three days from what we know. However, this virus’s detectability drastically reduces with time. There will be significantly less coronavirus on cardboard within as little as four hours.
While the virus does survive on surfaces, “it’s highly unlikely for the virus to spread via mail and/or packages.” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. “The way the virus spreads is through person-to-person transmission when the people come in close contact with an infected person.”
The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones is by social distancing. It is also important to wash or sanitize your hands, wear a mask in public, and frequently disinfect commonly touched surfaces in your home. To take safety precautions a step further, you should handle packages that get delivered to your home carefully. You don’t know where they have been or who has touched them.
Here are six tips for handling packages and deliveries during the pandemic.
6. Avoid Close Contact With Any Delivery Person
While most companies are very good with contact-free delivery, you should always try to ensure it for every delivery you have. If you cannot get contact-free delivery, maintain six feet of distance when coming in contact with a delivery person.
5. Disinfect the Package
Even though coronavirus only lasts for 24 hours on cardboard, you should still take a disinfecting spray and use it on any packages that come to your door. Lysol has a great disinfecting spray that comes in an aerosol can. These cans even come in small travel-size aerosol cans you can take with you if you have to go shopping in the store and spray down the plastic shopping bags in your car.
4. Disinfect Surfaces
You should disinfect any and all surfaces that your packages come in contact with. Do not throw your packages onto your couch or bed. Whether it’s your countertops or even your floor, be sure to clean and disinfect any surface the package touches. Use a diluted bleach solution using one part bleach and three parts water. You can also use a sanitizing wipe to wipe off your mail or packages.
3. Wash Your Hands
This is a given nowadays — wash your hands! Be sure to wash or disinfect your hands after handling any package or bags from a store. Washing your hands is always the best solution, but you can always use hand sanitizer to disinfect your hands if washing them is not an option.
2. Avoid Touching Your Face in Public
Always avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth when out in public and before you clean and sanitize your hands. When you touch a package or bag from a store, you need to avoid touching your face as much as possible until you’ve had a chance to clean your hands.
1. Leave Your Package in an Isolated Space
If you are still worried about your package having coronavirus on it, you can leave it untouched, in an isolated space, for several hours. You can even leave it for a whole day if you wish.
The World Health Organization has stated, “the disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which spreads when a person with coronavirus coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch coronavirus by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose, or mouth.” This can be a scary concept when dealing with this very new virus that not many people know anything about. However, as stated, the virus can only live on surfaces for some time without a human to host in. And if you follow the steps above, you will be as safe as possible, greatly reducing the risk to yourself and your loved ones living with you.
Similarly to the flu season, the best thing to do is to be cautious and be sure to avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth without first sanitizing your packages and your hands after handling your packages or bags from the store. Together, we will be able to get through this coronavirus. And while life may change forever, you can still be safe and secure following these steps above.