Are your packages safe from the coronavirus? Major U.S. carriers weigh in

Posted at 7:01 AM, Feb 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-26 08:46:28-05

CLIFTON, TX — Packages ship from all over the world and arrive at your doorstep in a matter of days, but are they safe if they're coming from a region with active Covid-19/coronavirus cases?

Gaye Lynn Seawright found herself asking that question this week. With a background in medical animal science, she cares for the many animals on her ranch. She said that she's been ordering the same medication for her animals from the same distributor for years, but now the package's postmark doesn't sit with her well.

"Looking at this package its wrapped in Fedex, but when you get it unwrapped, its, you know, from China. So I was like, are there any safety precautions I need to be taking? To keep me and my family safe?" Seawright said.

25 News sought answers from the major United States carriers, who all generally said the same thing.

An Amazon spokesperson said, "We are following the guidelines of international health organizations who indicate it is safe to handle and receive packages."

USPS said something similar. They said, "the U.S. Postal Service is closely monitoring the corona virus situation and has been in contact with other U.S. Government agencies."

Fedex differed to the World Health Organization's website.

When you look at a list of FAQ's, it states, "is it safe to receive a package from any area where COVID-19 has been reported?"

The answer they give is, "Yes. 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, traveled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low."

These answers don't exactly put Seawright at ease.

"I raise my eyebrow at it, because you know you don't want to start a panic that's for sure, but you certainly want the basics to be able to control what comes into your home and where you go and the things you touch and you don't want to spread anything either" said Seawright.

USPS further explained, "As always, the safety of our employees and customers is one of our highest priorities."

25 News is seeking further COVID-19 package safety advice from the Infectious Disease Division at Baylor Scott and White.