As more and more Americans stay at home to battle the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic, shipping carriers expect an uptick in online orders. As a result, none of the three major carriers in the United States have plans to stop delivering during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Despite the outbreak, the United States Postal Service is fully functional, with only minor operational impacts in the United States. That said, the organization has still temporarily suspended Priority Mail Express International delivery guarantees to China and Hong Kong.
USPS is currently keeping close tabs on COVID-19, and is reviewing any contingency plans in case they are needed. The Postal Service also warns that packages traveling to other international destinations may also be delayed, as countries such as Italy are now on full lockdown, with no Italian postal services taking place until further notice.
Relying on the Postal Service Now More Than Ever
During these trying times, USPS is actually one of the few organizations Americans can rely on to still deliver for us during the Coronavirus. In a statement published on March 17th, USPS representatives stated the following:
“[We are] an essential service for purposes of [our] 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 online purchases.”
UPS is moving forward with business as usual, continuing to deliver packages all around the world. However, countries that have declared states of public health emergencies may experience delays in service.
The company has also resumed service throughout every part of mainland China except for Wuhan, the original source of the outbreak. UPS is currently preparing contingency plans to address potential sources of disruption in their ground and air networks.
Visit the UPS website to see how the UPS network is responding to the Coronavirus, what the company suggests in terms of safety tips, and how their customers can ensure contactless delivery and interaction with their drivers.
FedEx also has no plans to halt delivery. However, they do warn that customers living in severely impacted areas may experience delays. The company is also taking protective measures by regularly sanitizing delivery equipment and making delivery as contactless as possible.
In a statement on safety that FedEx recently published, the company said the following:
“We are operating to and within impacted areas as local conditions and restrictions allow. We are adhering to all regulations and guidelines from government authorities related to containment of the virus.”
Can I Get COVID-19 From Touching Packages?
As shipping carriers still deliver during the Coronavirus pandemic, many consumers worry about the safety of package surfaces. According to the World Health Organization, the virus has poor survivability on surfaces, and is mostly transmitted through respiratory droplets.
International packages travel over longer periods of time, and withstand wide temperature fluctuations. Therefore, the WHO states that picking up Coronavirus by handling packages or their contents is highly unlikely.
What About Touching the Mail?
The same goes for domestic mail; the likelihood of contracting COVID-19 from handling letters or envelopes is very low. In the same statement referenced earlier, USPS also said the following in regards to handling mail:
“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.”
Residents can check to see if USPS is halting mail delivery for their area or if their local Post Offices are open by keeping tabs on the USPS newsroom alerts.