Coronavirus and Mail Safety


When global issues arrive, it pays to be prepared. The coronavirus took the world by storm, forcing employee and citizen seclusion as well as quarantine procedures across the globe. Because many illnesses can be transmitted by touch and tend to live a long while outside of human hosts, the prospect of contagion transmission is perceived to be high. The real question remains: how contagious is COVID-19 via mail and package delivery?

Never Truly Alone

When people are sick they need supplies, and the best way to get them is through the mail in quarantine situations. Corporations staying in business also need to keep a stockpile of certain goods to maintain uninterrupted operation. Unfortunately, there is still the possibility of becoming infected when ordering and opening these supplies.

Because the virus is asymptomatic during its most contagious phase, employees packing products might be sick and not even know it. In addition, mail carriers and package handlers may be ill while performing their normal duties. Studies indicate that COVID-19 can survive up to 24 hours on cardboard and even longer on stainless steel and plastics. Even if the package itself is not a vector for transmission the mailperson may be carrying more than letters.

Perishable Contents

There is some good news about the COVID-19. While the virus may still be identifiable on plastics, cardboard and stainless steel, mailed packages are generally not a source of concern. There is still a chance that a viable sample lives within an envelope or box, but the likelihood is quite small that it would even be contagious. Even parcels from China have little risk of spreading COVID-19 because sealed envelopes and boxes are not a good environment for the virus to flourish.

Packages go through a lot in transit, including extreme temperatures that would eradicate any viruses attached to the surface. There is also nothing for the infection to feed on inside, either. It is still possible that mail and package handlers can still be vectors for transmission, and it’s important to limit exposure from those situations. However, even the smallest possibility of infection is too much for many institutions.

Biological Safety

There are measures that institutions can take to guard themselves from threats hidden within the mail. Specialized screening rooms such as the Delta Scientific BioBooth provide a safe space to examine and open packages while keeping the general area secure from possible contaminants. These booths are usually installed within warehouses or on the exterior of the main building, away from other employees, with its own filtered air supply.

What makes these an effective security measure is inherent in their design. If a contagion is identified, the booth can actually be removed from the premises and taken to a secure area for decontamination. For organizations concerned about admitting the coronavirus into their facilities through the mail. BioBooths provide that extra layer of security to ensure that employee exposure remains at a minimum. For more information on preparing your organization for mail-borne biological threats, get in touch with Delta Scientific’s knowledgable staff. With their help, any institution can provide the sense of security needed for smooth operations during a crisis.