Thanks to the recent Coronavirus outbreak, we’re now living in a world where social distancing is the norm. The CDC has famously warned people to stay 6 feet apart from each other to main social distance, and now, the US Postal Service is following suit. To help stop the rapid spread of COVID-19, USPS is temporarily changing their signature confirmation process.
The Postal Service’s Temporary Signature Confirmation Process
For USPS letter carriers, the new guidelines for collecting signatures is as follows:
- Avoid ringing the doorbell when possible
- Knock on the customer’s door
- Avoid areas that may be frequently touched when knocking
- While maintaining a safe, appropriate distance, employees will request the customer’s first initial and last name
- For increased safety, employees will ask the customer to step back a safe distance or close the screen door/door so that they may leave the item in the mail receptacle or appropriate location by the customer’s door
- If there is no response, employees will follow the normal Notice Left process
- If there are delivery points on the route where social distancing recommendations are difficult to follow, explore alternative delivery methods
These Changes Won’t Impact the Postal Service’s Quality of Delivery
Despite these changes to their signature confirmation process, the Postal Service is still carrying on with business as usual. These changes won’t impact the organization’s quality of delivery, or guaranteed delivery timeframes for products such as Priority Mail Express. In fact, the government recently deemed the Postal Service and shipping carriers as one of our country’s essential services during this time when states are entering lockdowns. That means that all carriers will still deliver to businesses and households despite the pandemic.
For those concerned that you may pick up COVID-19 from the mail or packages, you can rest easy. The World Health Organization, the Surgeon General, and the CDC recently indicated there is no evidence that the Coronavirus is being spread through the mail. Coronavirus particles are also highly unlikely to survive the transit times and temperature fluctuations that affect domestic and international packages. Still, to be safe, the CDC recommends washing your hands before and after handling any objects or surfaces that haven’t been disinfected. This includes packages and mail.