COVID-19: How do you handle your mail?

A Canada Post package from Amazon on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. While the risk is very low, the region's medical officer of health says he would wipe down all mail with a disinfectant before opening and wash your hands after handling as we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

SD&G – While people are practicing self-isolation or social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is still something making its way into your home.

While many services have shut down, mail is still making it to your door from Canada Post and other couriers. Many of those packages and envelopes have travelled through a lot of hands at different locations across Canada, moving in a matter of days.

A U.S. National Institutes of Health study shows the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) can live on cardboard for up to 24 hours and on plastic and stainless steel for up to three days.

Local Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis was asked by Cornwall Newswatch how people should be handling mail coming into their homes.

“Personally, if I get a package, I would wipe it down before I opened it up. Envelopes, that’s difficult for envelopes. For hard surfaces like cardboard and others, I would wipe it down with a disinfectant before I opened it,” Roumeliotis said.

“If I touched it and opened it, I would immediately wash my hands,” the doctor added.

Canada Post workers have been practicing social distancing – they try to avoid meeting people at the door.

Canada Post, in a statement on its website, says it’s following the direction of the Public Health Agency of Canada. It no longer requires signatures for items and is applying a “safe drop process.”

The agency maintains the risk of novel coronavirus from incoming mail to households is “very low,” citing the Public Health Agency of Canada and the World Health Organization.

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