The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and your Mail
Over the last three months, the world has been inundated with news of the Coronavirus pandemic. To date, over 100,000 people have been confirmed to be infected with the virus worldwide, and nearly 5,000 people have died.
Coronavirus or COVID-19 is a virus, a small particle that infects living cells. It causes a sickness that is like a bad cold or the flu. In some people, this sickness can become more serious, leading to pneumonia other serious respiratory conditions and, in some extreme cases, eventually death. The most serious cases seem to affect those over 80 with pre-existing health conditions.
Corona is something you should be concerned about. You should follow all the practices recommended by health authorities such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). This includes increasing social distance to a space of 6 feet, avoiding people who are infected, washing your hands regularly and thoroughly (experts recommend washing for 20 seconds) and using hand sanitizer.
As a mailer, you may face questions about COVID-19 as part of your business. For example, your customers may ask whether the virus can be spread through mail or parcels, particularly international packages from heavily infected areas.
According to both the CDC and WHO, it is extremely unlikely that COVID-19 can be transmitted on parcels or pieces of mail, no matter where they are sent from. It’s possible that under certain conditions the virus can survive on a surface for several days. But it should not be able to survive on an object that’s been moved and exposed to different conditions and temperatures over a period of days. Additionally, it’s the porous surface of paper and other materials used in mailings that are poor environments for viruses such as COVID-19. The United States Postal Service agrees that you won't get sick from handling mail, but they do point out that mail from infected areas may be delayed.
If your customers express concerns about transmitting Coronavirus through mail and parcels, you can reassure them that all indications right now indicate that the process is perfectly safe. And, at a time when the government is proposing limiting face-to-face interaction, mail may be one of the safest and most effective ways of communicating with your customers.
More information about the Coronavirus can be found on the CDC website and on the WHO website. Specific questions about your mail and parcels can be directed to the USPS website or by calling the National Customer Support Center in Memphis, TN at 1-800-275-8777.