Coronavirus Mail

The United States Postal Service is one of the few things from your daily routine that is still continuing during this pandemic.

With all the information out there on social distancing and staying 6 feet away from others: Is it safe to handle and open the mail as usual?

Coronavirus can be traced for up to 24 hours on cardboard, two to three days on plastic and stainless steel. There is no research on how long the virus stays active on paper.

Mail carriers touch multiple envelopes and mailboxes, and some might be infected. In a ProPublica report published, two mail carriers stated they were showing symptoms of COVID-19, and they were pressured to continue working. Ten workers said they were given little or no hand sanitizer for their shifts.

Almost 80,000 people have signed a petition for the United States Postal Service to “take immediate action to ensure the safety and rights of its workers, as well as the safety of its customers.” This calls for the USPS to grant emergency sick leave or hazard pay to employees and granting access to gloves, sanitizer, and face masks.

13 Postal Workers have tested positive so far, but those employees had traveled internationally to countries affected with the diseases of areas of the United States where it has been hit.  “We are not aware of any employee who contracted COVID-19 as a result of his or her work for the Postal Service” Dave Partenheimer, the USPS Spokesperson told TODAY in a statement.

The United States Postal Service issued a statement on their website stating the CDC, the World Health Organization, as well as the Surgeon General, have indicated that there is currently no evidence the Coronavirus is being spread through the mail.

According to the CDC, “in general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures. Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets. Currently, there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods, and there have not been any cases of COVID-19 in the United States associated with imported goods.”

According to the WHO “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.”

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