How To Handle Packages In the Time Of COVID-19

Premier Health Now
Individual

You’ve been abiding by the stay-at-home order, going out for essential needs only. Maybe you’re ordering grocery delivery to limit your trips. Plus, you’re having no guests over.

Even so, your home’s threshold is being crossed by more than just you and your family. There are the packages delivered to your porch, the mail, takeout orders. And those groceries you ordered.

Could they be bringing coronavirus into your house, despite your best efforts? Could they be putting your health at risk?

The risk is low, Roberto Colon, MD, Premier Health Vice President of Quality and Safety, told Premier Health Now.

Yet, he recommends precautions to help you further reduce your potential for picking up COVID-19 infection from packages and other deliveries.

“The best advice we give people at this time is anytime you bring packages into the home, it’s not a bad idea to give it a quick wipe down (with disinfectant wipes),” Dr. Colon says. “And to make sure you’re washing your hands after having contact with any packages that come from outside your home.”

For takeout orders, he recommends transferring the food from the packaging to a plate, discarding the packaging, and thoroughly washing your hands before you eat.

He also recommends washing your hands after carrying a package into your home – and throwing away the box. It’s also a good idea to wash your hands after unpacking groceries – and before cooking or eating.

Still, Dr. Colon says, “You don’t have to be terrified of a package entering your house and contaminating your environment. Most scientists and physicians believe that it’s very unlikely that’s going to be a significant source of infection, especially for mail and packages that come in.

“It’s very unlikely that there is going to be any viable virus within those packages. These are just extra precautions I’m recommending – we’re just taking that extra level of care.”

And he says, "Washing your hands is never a bad idea."

Roberto Colón, MD

Roberto Colón, MD

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