Can You Get the Coronavirus by Opening Your Mail?

Woman getting mail
Photo by Spectruminfo / Shutterstock.com

A Salt Lake City mother who does a lot of online shopping posed this query to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases:

“I’m curious how long coronavirus lives on surfaces, and how we should be handling the mail.”

The question came up in a CNN/Facebook global town hall with Fauci — who in recent weeks has become the “public face” of the U.S. medical response to the coronavirus epidemic as a member of the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force.

Fauci responded that, for the most part, the new coronavirus appears to remain on surfaces for no more than a couple of hours.

For that reason, he thinks it is very likely that by the time the mail gets to its recipient, any risk of infection will have passed.

So, you should be safe to open any mail you receive from Grandma, the IRS or anyone else.

Fauci emphasized that he didn’t want to downplay the importance of wiping down surfaces of things when it’s easy to do — such as disinfecting door handles and cellphones.

For details on how to do that properly, check out “5 Household Cleaners That Can Kill the Coronavirus” and “How to Disinfect Your Smartphone Without Damaging It.”

But Fauci added that such vigilance should have its limits.

“I think if you start thinking about money and mail and things like that, you can almost sort of immobilize yourself, which I don’t think is a good idea,” he concluded.

It is worth noting that some experts have speculated that the coronavirus may live for longer on surfaces than just a couple of hours.

For example, Dr. Margaret Harris of the World Health Organization told The Grocer website that since the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 appears to behave like other coronaviruses, it is possible that it “may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days.”

So, if you have concerns about touching any surface — including the mail — be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after coming into contact with the surface.

More tips for preventing coronavirus infection

As the new coronavirus spreads across the nation, Americans are turning their lives upside down in an attempt to avoid becoming infected.

Because COVID-19 is new, many questions about the disease caused by the new coronavirus remain — which fuels more fear. The best way to calm such anxieties is to educate yourself about the risks, and then take steps to reduce them.

So, begin the learning process by checking out “What Everyone Should Know About Coronavirus Symptoms.”

You can also check out what is now one of the most popular stories in Money Talks News history: “7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile.”

How are you protecting yourself from the new coronavirus? Share your plan in comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
The Best and Worst States for Raising a Family in 2021
The Best and Worst States for Raising a Family in 2021

These states have big advantages or disadvantages when it comes to choosing a home for your family.

3 Tax Penalties That Can Ding Your Retirement Accounts
3 Tax Penalties That Can Ding Your Retirement Accounts

Protecting a nest egg is tough enough. Don’t make the situation far worse.

15 Free Streaming Services to Watch While Stuck at Home
15 Free Streaming Services to Watch While Stuck at Home

These free movie streaming sites offer thousands of movies and TV shows, including recent releases and beloved classics. If you love free movies, online sites are where you need to look for the best list of features that are just one easy click away.

10 Things That Can Ding Your Social Security Payments
10 Things That Can Ding Your Social Security Payments

Here are 10 things that could mean less money in your pocket during retirement.

33 Home Upgrades That Cost Less Than $100
33 Home Upgrades That Cost Less Than $100

A little money goes a long way with these imaginative projects. You can do most of them yourself.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Vacuums from this brand can last a half-century, if not longer — and they’re hot on the resale market.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon
36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon

The writing is on the wall for dozens of things we have grown up with.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

8 Federal Income Tax Breaks for Homeowners
8 Federal Income Tax Breaks for Homeowners

Some of these deductions and credits are available to a wide swath of homeowners.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

10 Types of Retirement Income That Are Not Taxable
10 Types of Retirement Income That Are Not Taxable

There are lots of things Uncle Sam can’t touch — so long as you play by the rules.

6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home
6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home

Stashing money around the house is anything but harmless.

5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic
5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic

Sometimes the brand-name version is clearly superior.

5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees
5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees

All of these states are located in the same region of the nation.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.