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Coronavirus and All Those Packages

Posted by Frank Steinberg | Mar 28, 2020 | 0 Comments

Can you catch the coronavirus from the parcels and packages that delivery people are leaving at your door?

As locked-down Americans increasingly shop online, deliveries are now at holiday levels.

Delivery is an “essential function” as defined by the Department of Homeland Security.  Irradiating all mail is probably overkill, and in any case is likely impossible.  But making sure that the people who are delivering the mail and other packages during this pandemic are protected is imperative. With delivery persons working 12-hour shifts to keep up with demand, they are struggling to access the sanitizing supplies and hand-washing facilities they need, and the situation becomes riskier. 

“The CDC has advised that there is a low risk of transmission on packages,” said Matthew O'Conner, a spokesman for UPS. FedEx, in a statement, said, “The guidance from the WHO is that 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 exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.”

It is still a good idea to wash your hands after handling packages and mail.  Spraying mail and packages with Lysol before handling is also an option.  I just did it with a delivery yesterday.

About the Author

Frank Steinberg

Frank is the founder and principal of Steinberg Law, LLC. A Jersey boy born and bred, he focuses on employment litigation and counseling, business litigation,  and aviation law. Following law school and a clerkship in the federal district court Frank spent his early career with large litigation ...

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