• Karen McPhail, RN, MSN

COVID-19 Updates: Safe Management of Packages and More!

Our lives have certainly changed over the past few weeks and will surely continue to do so in the weeks to follow. This is going to be an ever changing process over the course of hours, days, weeks, and months so continue to follow our blog, but also check out our Facebook page where information is being updated continually and where we will have the most recent guidelines and updates noted. Information exchange and collaboration is critical at this time!

We all now know that Covid-19 is a highly contagious virus and that social distancing and self isolation is critical to stop the spread. Healthcare providers across the country are struggling, facing tough decisions and challenges in providing care and in obtaining supplies and materials. We can ALL make our lives and theirs better by staying at home and stopping transmission. Let's flatten the curve by all working together!! #flattenthecurve

What are some other helpful guidelines at this point:

1. Ensure that you handle groceries and all outside packages properly! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), the risks of transmission of coronavirus from a package is very low, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible,” says Elliot Frank, M.D., an infectious disease specialist and medical director of quality and outcomes at Jersey Shore University Medical Center. “This is because the virus is generally thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets that are transmitted by sneezing and coughing.” “Even if your delivery person or mail carrier isn’t experiencing symptoms, they still may be carrying the virus and unknowingly spreading bacteria,” Dr. Frank adds. “If you’re touching items that someone else has recently handled, be aware of possible contamination and take preventative measures to protect yourself and your family.”

Based on their guidelines provided, we recommend to be on the safe side and follow the processes below to safely manage packages and mail upon drop-off: 1. Avoid direct contact with the delivery person 2. Leave the package outside for a few hours and/or spray it with aerosol disinfectant before handling. 3. Dispose of all outer packaging immediately! If possible wear gloves when opening packages and mail. 4. Wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds or more 5. Disinfect any high-touch surfaces you had contact with after handling. I prefer to leave non perishables in a designated area of the garage for 3 days after delivery to ensure items clear for use. 6. Avoid touching your face at any time when opening mail / packages, this includes your eyes, nose and mouth. Avoid wearing contact lenses at this time as this makes one prone to inadvertently touching the eyes.

7. Lysol your shoes (especially the bottom) after being worn outside and do not wear inside the home; leave them at the door!

2. Continue to do good hand washing and social distancing! Stay at home and avoid all unnecessary appointments! If it can wait, it should!!! Isolating and avoiding transmission is the only way to stop this!!! The CDC recommends the following: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cleaning-disinfection.html

  • Household members should wash hands often, including immediately after removing gloves and after contact with an ill person, by washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol may be used. However, if hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.

Additional key times to clean hands include:

  • After blowing one’s nose, coughing, or sneezing

  • After using the restroom

  • Before eating or preparing food

  • After contact with animals or pets

  • Before and after providing routine care for another person who needs assistance, including children.

3. Keep your home envionment clean. Disinfect routinely used surfaces daily. The eps approved list should be consulted: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2020-03/documents/sars-cov-2-list_03-03-2020.pdf . Shower and wash clothing items worn daily. Limit jewelry such as rings, watches, bracelets, and pendants as they can be an accidental transmission mechanism. Do not wear shoes inside the home that have been worn outside. Leave shoes at the door. Again do not wear contact lenses as they can lead to inadvertent eye touching!

What will happen in the coming weeks and perhaps in the future:

  • There will certainly be and increase in case numbers, more community outbreaks, and viral spreading. Ensure that you continue to monitor necessary supplies and medications and keep up your stocking without hoarding. Have items delivered if possible. Most pharmacies will do this free of charge or at minimal cost.

  • We are sadly in the first wave of many outbreaks. It is being projected that these waves will last approximately 6 weeks to 3 months in duration.  We need to all understand that cooperation is key and that things are going to be a bit challenging for some time.

  • Outbreak waves will probably occur in the Spring, Fall, and Winter

  • It is projected that 20% of the population will become infected with Covid-19, with 15% infected requiring hospitalization, and sadly 2% of those infected by Covid-19 dying. 

Please reach out at this time via the contacts tab if you require guidance and support as we are here to help!






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