As the COVID-19 pandemic forced many businesses to shut down, people are now looking for ways to get access to essential resources. With nothing left to do, people turn to e-commerce platforms to shop for goods, food products, and other items to keep them occupied while in lockdown. This led to a huge delivery surge in logistics companies from various online businesses.
Since shopping is now done online, health organizations issued orders on the proper handling and receiving of packages. They also provided guidelines for logistics companies to ensure the right procedures when handling packages and preventing workers from acquiring COVID-19. Despite these precautions, people are still having concerns if they can get COVID-19 from accepting deliveries.
In these times of uncertainty, even the most mundane routine can be a stress-inducing ordeal that will bring lots of questions to mind. Is it possible to get infected by COVID-19 when accepting deliveries at home? To save you from all the confusion, we will answer some questions about handling deliveries during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Can I get infected when accepting deliveries?
There are two ways how COVID-19 is transmitted in food businesses: through a contaminated product or an infected person. According to the guidelines by the World Health Organization (WHO), food businesses should focus their attention on implementing preventative measures when handling food deliveries during the pandemic.
It’s hard to determine whether the package that arrives on our doorsteps had contact with a person who is COVID-19 positive. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the virus can’t survive on long journeys, but a study by the New England Journal of Medicine discovered that the virus lasts for three hours while in air, two to three days on stainless steel and plastic, four hours on copper, and 24 hours on cardboards. Some experts also suspect that the virus can survive on bubble wraps.
What are the precautions done by logistics companies?
One of the main ways to spread and acquire COVID-19 is coming into contact or touching infected surfaces, droplets, and objects contaminated with an infected person’s sneeze or cough. This means delivery workers are at risk of spreading COVID-19 since they have to interact with customers and travel to different locations.
To protect workers, the CDC and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released prevention guidelines for parcel and mail delivery workers. Companies must strictly prohibit infected employees to return to work unless the doctor permits them. The CDC also recommends wearing face masks in public settings and observing social distancing, especially in places with high rates of COVID-19.
Logistics companies are also observing contactless deliveries by limiting contacts on delivery recipients and leaving packages on the doorstep. Workers must also clean and disinfect any surface using alcohol solutions and other cleaning products. They also encourage preventative actions by avoiding touching areas of the face.
Meanwhile, food establishments have to make informed decisions when packing food items and transporting food deliveries. They begin to use disposable packaging and containers to prevent the spread of the virus on food containers and dishware. They also ensure proper cleaning, sanitizing, disinfection, and protection from different sources of contamination.
What should I do when receiving packages and food items?
Any type of delivered item is a potential carrier of COVID-19. When paying for deliveries, consider paying online to prevent handling of credit cards and physical transfer of money, which are both potential ways to acquire the virus.
When claiming food items, choose between contactless delivery or pick up items by drive-through. Most establishments are now offering services limiting person-to-person contact to protect workers and customers. When picking up items in the drive-through, wear masks and gloves and limit the interaction. Don’t forget to sanitize the hands after receiving the package.
When accepting deliveries, opt for contactless delivery to limit interaction with the delivery staff. Allow them to leave the package on the doorway or front porch. If the delivery requires accepting the package directly, do the same steps when accepting items by the drive-through.
According to a study by the Harvard’s School of Public Health, the risk of COVID-19 transmission is very low when handling groceries, restaurant takeout, and delivered packages. Despite this fact, people should follow safety measures by observing proper hygiene and social distancing. While the risks are small, you can manage them by following the basic precautions.
The suggestions above are just some guidelines you can follow to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your home. While no one is certain when this will end, it is important to take the necessary steps to protect ourselves and our families from any health risk.
Meta title: Basic Precautions When Handling Packages to Prevent COVID-19
meta desc: Receiving packages during this pandemic is very risky since the COVID-19 virus often lingers on surfaces. Learn the basic precautions when handling packages to prevent getting infected.