FORT COLLINS, Colorado (CBS4) – An estimated 3 billion packages and cards will be delivered during the holiday season. Some have raised concerns about the potential for contracting COVID-19 through particulate matter on shipments. However, the researchers encourage recipients not to be afraid of receiving COVID-19 via shipments.
Both the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Professor Alan Schenkel at Colorado State University say the likelihood of virus transmission between people through the mail is very unlikely.
“It’s a very small risk, but it’s a reasonable concern for people. Especially if they are at high risk of diabetes or other health factors, ”Schenkel told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas.
In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, many feared that the COVID-19 particles landed on surfaces could easily infect others. While researchers found that the particles could survive up to five days on some surfaces in a laboratory setting, updated research suggests that the particles virtually never transmit to others and cause disease.
“There are a lot of things in the real world that cause particles to dissolve over time,” said Schenkel.
Studies show that most of the transmission of COVID-19 is carried out by one person distributing breath droplets in the air to another person, especially when both parties are exposed. While it is rare for particles to linger on surfaces long enough to be shipped and delivered, with most dying before they even get on a truck, Schenkel said those overly affected can still take steps to ensure safety.
Schenkel said those who want to go the extra mile to ensure a clean package in their home can leave their shipment in an isolated location like a garage or closet. If you do this for a few days, especially in a warm, low-humidity area, any particles present will be dead.
“Wipe off the outside surface if you have to,” said Schenkel. “The virus particles disintegrate where it is warmer. So if it’s in a cool and dark place, it probably won’t deteriorate anytime soon. “
Schenkel and the CDC recommend washing your hands for at least 20 seconds after opening the mail.
While receiving mail should be completely secure in almost all cases, the chances of catching COVID-19 are dramatically higher for those who wait in tight lines to get the items out in the mail.