According to the World Health Organization, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can live on surfaces anywhere from a few hours to a few days. While the data around this virus is still in its infancy, the basic steps we all need to take to protect ourselves are clear. Limiting social and physical contact, frequent hand washing, and limiting exposure to shared surfaces will all help mitigate the risk.
The consequences of not taking these measures seriously can be dire. In hard-hit states like New York, California, and Washington, employers are already dealing with the terrible monetary and human costs of not taking this threat seriously enough. It’s time for buildings and businesses in every part of the US to make changes to keep their business and our communities healthy.
In many ways, our client’s mailroom and concierge employees are leading the containment efforts. As shops close and people hunker in place, they are increasingly relying on shipments and deliveries of groceries and essential supplies. How can you help keep your mailroom safe in these times? While the situation is changing rapidly and varies city to city and state to state – we put together a list of the basic steps that every business that inbounds packages should, at a minimum, be following to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19 through your operations.
- Adhere to social distancing guidelines
- Minimize contact with shared surfaces
- Offer delivery where possible
- Sanitize surfaces often
- Use a no-contact inbound management software
Adhere to Social Distancing Guidelines
The CDC recommends that people maintain a distance of six feet between themselves and anyone who is not a member of their household. Easy ways to encourage social distancing among your residents when they come to pick up packages include marking spots 6 feet apart to queue up at (regular painter’s tape or masking tape would work well without risking damage to your floors), or assigning time slots for residents to access the mailroom or pick up packages.
Minimize Contact with Shared Surfaces
While it is still unclear exactly how long the novel coronavirus can live on surfaces, one recent study by the New England Journal of Medicine found that it can survive for up to 24 hours on cardboard and 72 hours on plastic or metal surfaces. It is crucial to keep contact with shared surfaces to an absolute minimum. Pens and clipboards, iPads, and signature pads all have the potential to spread the virus when customers sign for deliveries.
Employees should wear gloves whenever they handle packages and be sure to change them every time they take a break, eat, or touch their face. Additionally, scanners, computers, keyboards, and other shared hardware can spread germs among your staff – so it is best to use a system that allows each person to use a personal device.
Depending on the setup of your building or facility, delivering packages to the door of a unit can be a smart way to allow for social distancing to help keep both your employees and residents safe. It is best practice to send a delivery notification digitally, so your employee doesn’t have to touch any shared surfaces like the door or doorbell. The photograph will also serve as proof of delivery for your delivery log and any email communication.
Sanitize Surfaces Often
According to the World Health Organization, regular household disinfectants, bleach solutions, or alcohol can kill the virus that causes COVID-19. One way to lower your risk is to sanitize hard surfaces like counters, tabletops, and doorknobs thoroughly as often as possible. When interacting with soft or porous surfaces (like cardboard) that can’t be easily sanitized, use gloves.
Give Your Employees the Tools They Need to Stay Safe
Your mailroom and concierge employees are at the front lines of this epidemic, and it is imperative to give them the tools they need to keep themselves, their families, and in turn, your residents and business safe. Access to an ample supply of disinfecting cleaners, gloves, and any other supplies they need to lower their risk is paramount.
Similarly, a smart no-contact package management system that allows you to manage the full inbounding process from logging incoming packages to notifying recipients, to logging proof of pickup or delivery, without any shared hardware is the right way to manage your mailroom in this challenging time.
PackageX Scan and Track is offering 90 days free to any building or business that is feeling the effect of COVID-19. Our app doesn’t require any shared hardware and can be accessed from any iOS or Android device. Each employee can access PackageX through their personal device without risking the spread of germs through surfaces and close contact. Additionally, our no-contact pickup and delivery confirmation features can help support social distancing measures. Either take a photograph of the pickup person’s ID, or a drop-off location to maintain the security of your process without contact. Sign up before April 16th to get 90 days for free.