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Online shopping can add an extra layer of coronavirus protection, since it limits direct contact with a large number of people (hello, social distancing)—but, while it certainly seems like the safer option, could online shopping lead to coronavirus spreading through mail and packages?

The answer: For the most part, no. According to the WHO, "People receiving packages (from China) are not at risk of contracting the new coronavirus." The organization went on to explain that, based on what we know from other coronaviruses, objects like letters or packages are not good environments for the viruses.
Alan Koff, MD, chief fellow of the infectious disease program at Yale School of Medicine adds that the conditions packages go through may also make it more difficult for the virus to survive. "It is likely that the temperature outside and the length of time the package is in shipping may impact the survival of the virus on that surface," he says—that's in contrast to the lab settings viruses are usually tested in. All that's to say, of course, that even if coronavirus coronavirus did make it on to a package, it would likely not make it to your door.

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