How safe are home deliveries during the COVID-19 pandemic?

How safe are home deliveries during the COVID-19 pandemic?
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(NaturalHealth365) Right now, as we isolate in our homes to safeguard against the spread of coronavirus, tens of thousands of workers at Amazon and Instacart are delivering high-demand online shopping packages and groceries.

Right now, tens of thousands of Amazon workers and Instacart employees are planning to strike for better coronavirus protection and more access to paid sick leave and hazard pay.

Meanwhile, both Amazon and Instacart are planning to hire tens of thousands of new workers to meet the surge in online shopping. All of which begs the question: How safe are home deliveries during the COVID-19 pandemic? And what can we do to make those deliveries even safer?

Warning: A single cough can produce up to 3,000 COVID-19 droplets

When it comes to COVID-19, the dangers of shopping at brick-and-mortar stores far outweigh the dangers associated with curbside delivery.

In fact, retail  and grocery stores are perfect settings for the virus to spread. Even if shoppers practice social distancing, adhere to the spacing tools put in place at lines and checkouts, and, as is the case with some states, follow the temporary bans placed on reusable tote bags, the sheer number of surfaces being touched –food items, grocery carts, baskets, checkout belts, ATM machines, receipts  -make brick-and-mortar stores ideal hotspots for virus transfer.

There’s no such thing as a “zero risk” delivery

Any food or package handled by someone else carries the risk of COVID-19 contamination. How many “hands” touched the food or package in the stockroom or warehouse?

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Did the delivery driver where gloves or wash his or her hands? All of these factors play a role when it comes to the safety of home deliveries.

Or to put it another way: If Instacart’s order volume has increased by 150%, which it claims, how many more people are touching the products and increasing the possibility of viral spread?

Still, while there’s no such thing as a “zero risk” delivery, home deliveries are safer than going to the store.  According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the coronavirus which causes COVID-19 is detectable up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard, and up to two or three days on plastic and stainless steel.

The keyword here is detectable. Disease transmission from inanimate surfaces is low risk because while it can be detected on some surfaces days later, its viral-concentration levels drop off quickly!

If you’re still worried about the possibility of a delivery package being contaminated, there are additional steps you can take.

  • Wipe down the surface of the package with a disinfectant
  • Use your own dishes, and discard any take-out containers
  • Leave boxes that were delivered outside for 24 hours
  • Open the boxes outdoors and place any wrapping (cardboard, paper, etc.) in an outdoor garbage bin
  • Wash your hands after handling any delivery or package

In these confusing and unprecedented times, it’s best to be extra vigilant when bringing items into your home.  But, above all, remain calm, thoughtful and stay tuned to NaturalHealth365 – as we continue to monitor this virus outbreak.

Sources for this article:

BBC.com
Washingtonpost.com