NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -- A day after learning a postal worker in Connecticut tested positive for COVID-19, many are wondering if they need to start worrying about their mail.
Both the U.S. Postal Service and the leading health experts say the likelihood of the coronavirus spreading through the mail is low, but people should still take precautions.
“Again, you have to go through the math. Even if someone touched a piece of mail, say a mail delivery service, someone in the post office touched it, who had the infection, then you come down to the question of how long would that virus live on that dry piece of mail that’s been transported over days and hours to get to you. I think the risk there has to be minimum,” said Dr. John Rodis, president of St. Francis Hospital.
According to the World Health Organization, the likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low, along with passing it on, since a package or piece of mail is likely to have traveled and been exposed to different conditions and temperatures.
The Centers for Disease Control said “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.”
Picking up the mail at his New Haven post office on Friday, Anthony Stewart said seeing the coronavirus spread across the country has him a little concerned.
“I’m glad I’m retired, stay in, but I am a little cautious about getting the mail because, mail carriers have to worry too. It’s everywhere,” he said.
Charles Barrett said he’s not doing anything different when it comes to grabbing his mail, but adds working in the hospital, the coronavirus is on his mind.
“I’m not worried about picking up mail, but of course anywhere I go, I use a hand sanitizer after I come in and out of a place and as we see, using six-foot distance,” he said.
The best thing you can do is wash your hands with soap and water.