PSA: Coronavirus Has Infected Amazon Warehouses, Here’s What That Means for You

Can Amazon Packages Make You Sick? Credit: Frederic Legrand - COMEO / Shutterstock
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Need something that’s not in stock at the local store? Most people head to Amazon and order those items online. With coronavirus now spreading through Amazon’s warehouses, some people are worried that their packages could get them sick.

But, is that something we should be concerned about? We’ll break down the latest research to see if your penchant for online shopping is a threat to your health.

According to Amazon and local media reports, Amazon warehouse workers across the country are infected with coronavirus, including in hard-hit New York City.

The online giant has shut down select facilities, but it has avoided mass closures. One of the first closures was its Queens warehouse, which is in the heart of New York City, the epicenter of the viral outbreak in the United States.

In its remaining warehouses, the company is sanitizing the interior, staggering shifts, and limiting the number of people in break rooms to help minimize worker contact.

Despite Amazon’s efforts, coronavirus likely will spread to packaging, either in Amazon warehouses or in the shipping facilities that handle the packages. What then?

Are people at risk of contracting coronavirus from their packages?

According to experts at the Center for Disease Control and infectious disease specialists, the virus is not likely to be transported on a box. Though the virus can survive on hard surfaces at ambient temperatures, shipping conditions are not favorable to the survival of the virus.

Most viruses will not survive a day or two in the mail. Even overnight packages are not likely to contain virus particles that can infect a person.

If you are concerned about your packaging, a quick wipe with an antiseptic towel or a paper towel moistened with bleach or isopropyl alcohol can do the trick. It takes less than a minute to do a sanitizing wipe down.

Remember, the primary mode of transmission of the virus is via respiratory droplets among people who are in close personal contact. If you practice social distancing, work from home, and only travel when necessary, you will significantly decrease your chances of getting sick.

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