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Can coronavirus spread on mail? United States Postal Service issues statement

Can you get sick with coronavirus by touching your mail? Here’s what health officials are saying.

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — As the country continues seeing a growing list of closures to stop the spread of coronavirus, one service that hasn’t been canceled is mail delivery.

That has left some wondering if it’s possible to be infected with coronavirus by touching their mail each day.

“The CDC, the World Health Organization and the Surgeon General have indicated that there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 is being spread through the mail,” the United States Postal Service said in a statement.

USPS said their teams are closely monitoring the coronavirus situation while sharing guidance to all employees.

The USPS also noted the following:

  • According to The World Health Organization, “the likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.”
  • According to the CDC, “in general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures. Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods and there have not been any cases of COVID-19 in the United States associated with imported goods.”

The push to continue delivering mail is a reflection of their unofficial motto: Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

“The Postal Service is an essential service for purposes of its compliance with state or municipality shelter-in-place orders or other social distancing restrictions. The Postal Service delivers medications, social security checks and is the leading delivery service for on-line purchases.”

While USPS says they have experienced only “minor operational impacts in the United States,” there has been some impact in other parts of the world.

“We do continue to have a temporary suspension of the guarantee on Priority Mail Express International destined for China and Hong Kong, which has been effective since Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, due to widespread airline cancellations and restrictions into this area,” according to their statement. “In addition, customers may see delays in mail and packages destined to China as well as from China, as well as to and from European countries subject to restricted passenger airline travel. The Postal Service is undertaking all reasonable measures to minimize the impact to our customers.”

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