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Are your packages safe? Alberta government developing COVID-19 delivery guidelines

Kendra Anderson wiped down groceries and transported to her own bags before bringing inside her home. March 26, 2020.
Kendra Anderson wiped down groceries and transported to her own bags before bringing inside her home. March 26, 2020. Supplied

While many businesses are struggling to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic, delivery services have been busy attending to Albertans needs.

Everything from groceries, beer and books have been delivered to doorsteps across the province.

READ MORE: Calgarians turn to food delivery services as COVID-19 concerns grow

Kendra Anderson, an Edmonton mother of two and self-professed “germophobe” said she’s worried about the potential spread of COVID-19 through packages.

Anderson also said she’s spent the better part of an hour wiping down every single grocery item dropped at her doorstep before bringing them into her home.

“I’m not sure if I’m being cautious or crazy,” she said.

Anderson said she transferred the groceries from plastic bags to her own reusable bags on her front step.

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She then scrubbed and air-dried each piece of fruit before allowing her family to dig in.

Concerned about the spread of COVID-19, Kendra Anderson washed down every piece of produce. March 26, 2020.
Concerned about the spread of COVID-19, Kendra Anderson washed down every piece of produce. March 26, 2020. Supplied

Alberta Health told Global News on Thursday it’s currently working on advice and guidelines for deliveries.

READ MORE: Demand for grocery delivery surges due to coronavirus, leaving some waiting weeks

Health Canada said there is currently no evidence to suggest food is a source of transmission for COVID-19 and there are no reported cases of transmission through food.

“If we become aware of a potential food safety risk, appropriate actions will be taken to ensure the safety of Canada’s food supply,” a spokesperson with the Government of Canada said.

But what about packages?

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Experts say the virus was viable after three days on plastic and stainless steel, and up to 24 hours on cardboard, however, Health Canada has said there is no known risk of coronaviruses entering Canada on parcels or packages.

READ MORE: Coronavirus can last on surfaces for days — experts say cleaning is key

The federal health authority suggested provincial governments may provide more direction for deliveries in the near future.

“The risk of spread from products shipped over a period of days or weeks at room temperature is very low,” Health Canada said.

Blindman Brewing, out of Lacombe, Alta., has offered a gloved delivery service and said it’s spraying down beer cans with isopropyl alcohol.

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Anderson said she’s not taking any chances with deliveries or groceries she bought at the store.

“Is it over the top?” she asked. “You don’t know who’s touched it or sneezed on it.”