Is it safe to touch my mail and printed brochures?
COVID-19 on PAPER
The Coronavirus is affecting everything in our daily lives, and a new norm of working from home, homeschooling our children, and avoiding any unnecessary human contact has set in.
This is leading many to ask: is it safe to touch my mail and other printed materials?
According to the CDC, the best way to prevent illness is to avoid exposure to the virus, which is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person through:
- People who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
According to current research in a recent study conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine, the Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) can live on paper for up to 24 hrs.
So, what if someone with the Coronavirus touches your mail on its way to you?
These days, the printing, binding, and bailing process is highly automated. This is not your grandpa’s print shop. With skilled labor in high demand, print shops like RC Brayshaw utilize every available technology to streamline the process for efficiency, utilizing sophisticated robotics to print, bind and finish your printed piece.
This high degree of automation also means that individual print pieces are handled very little throughout the process. Once we complete a print job at one of our facilities, we either box it for delivery for you or send it to the post office, a process that generally takes one day.
Daily, the United States Postal Service handles 187 Million pieces of mail … and similar to UPS and FedEx, the post office is highly automated with a minimal amount of mail touched by humans.
Companies like R.C. Brayshaw pre-barcode most of the mail we send out so that when it goes through processing, it can be scanned by machine rather than humans. This is often referred to as an “Automation Discount” and applies to the majority of mailings that we process.
We place outgoing mail in trays that then go into sacks, which are tied closed at our facility before they go to the post office. Those sacks generally move through the post office much like a package instead of as individual pieces. Finally, when the sack of mail arrives at the local post office, the sacks are opened and a Letter Carrier, wearing gloves, delivers it to your mailbox.
Due to the highly automated nature of the printing process and combined with the 3+ days it generally takes for mail to move through the postal system, it’s easy to see why this is not a major area of concern.
After opening your mail, the simple solution to be safe is to wash your hands with warm running water and soap for 30 seconds.
R.C. Brayshaw’s COVID-19 Precautions
We’re committed to keeping our employees and clients safe. We’ve implemented the following procedures for all employees and have assigned an internal task force to oversee the process.
- Employees who report to work are sanitizing all workstations hourly.
- Employees who can work remotely are doing so.
- When compared to other shops around the country, R.C. Brayshaw is highly automated, with printing presses that can print both sides in a single pass and automated cutting systems that reduce the handling of paper.
- Our press solution utilizes alcohol, which some print companies consider “Old School” … but it provides a much better-looking product by maintaining a tighter dot structure and alcohol has the added benefit of being a good sanitizer.
Love you guys! Be Safe.
Marketing Solutions Consultant
R.C. Brayshaw & Company, Inc.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Coronavirus Disease 2019 – How to Protect Yourself and Others
The New York Times: You’ve Got Mail. Will You Get the Coronavirus?
New England Journal of Medicine: Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1