"News & Tips of the week"
UPDATE: As the COVID-19 virus disrupts life across the nation, it is important to remember that now, more than ever, students need to be especially mindful of all facets of their personal safety, including mail handling operations. The JGW Group team is dedicated to ensuring you have the knowledge and tools necessary to safely navigate these uncertain times.
To assist in this process, we will offer periodic tips on personal, social, and online safety in the age of COVID-19. We encourage you to visit this page regularly for updates and personal safety tips, including our new video "Understanding & Using PPE in the Age of the Corona Virus".
Why Do we need PPE in the Mailroom?
Hand Sanitizer Award to Support the US ARMY
For Immediate release; The JGW Group under their JE-RDAP Omnibus contract was recently awarded a major contract to support the Army’s COVID-19 troop protection initiative. Under the contract, JGW and our partners are delivering more than 425,000 individual bottles of the highest quality, certified food grade, made in the USA, 80% hand sanitizer for distribution across all Army Commands. To ensure success, JGW draws from our 40 years of leadership experience managing large DoD programs to successfully bring together an all-American team who can deliver the highest quality product under the most difficult of circumstances.
As we continue to support the Army, the JGW team stands ready to provide you with our 100% made in America Hand Sanitizer. For more information on how we can help protect your employees, customers, and business, please contact us at (703) 547 6270 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Why Do we need PPE in the Mailroom?
Over the past few weeks we’ve heard a lot about the use of face coverings, mask, and respirators as methods for protecting personnel from the COVID-19 coronavirus. This has included admonitions via the CDC and media that the general public does not need to wear N95 level protection. While this may be true with regard to COVID-19, it does not negate the fact that, DHS Practices for Mail Screening and Handling Processes: A Guide for the Public and Private Sectors list smocks, gloves, and N95 level respiratory protection as a minimum requirement for anyone screening or handling mail. This reference can be located in Appendix 6, section 3.0 of the DHS guidelines.
For those of us involved in the receipt, handling, screening and distribution of mail, it is important to remember that these recommendations, formally adopted by DHS in 2012, have actually been in place for going on 20 years. While the anthrax attacks of 2001 are most often cited as the reason for requiring PPE in mail centers, in reality, the reason is much simpler. Mail is dirty! Next to money, there are very few things that we handle daily that has the potential to be exposed to and cross contaminated by such a wide variety of chemical and biological hazards. Additionally, the use of mechanized high-speed sorting equipment increases the propensity for material transfer and cross contamination. Finally, the probability of contamination transferring from the envelope or package to the handler is too high to ignore.
The bottom line - mail center personnel come in direct contact with above average quantities of mail from multiple, unknown sources. To protect them, mail centers should support and enforce DHS Best Practice recommendations and ensure anyone involved in the mail handling process is aware of the requirement, and has access to protective gloves, N95 respirators (masks), and some form of clothing cover such as smocks or Tyvek.
Remember, simply issuing PPE is not enough, personnel must be trained on the proper way to don, wear, and doff equipment, and need to fully understand its functions, capabilities, and limitations.
For more information on the proper use of PPE and other mail center personal protection guidelines visit our website at and follow the links to Tips of the Week.
New Guidelines for Masks
Over the weekend, CDC and other government agencies modified their recommendations regarding the use of respirators and cloth mask. While their position on the use of N-95 mask remains the same – recommended for use by first responders, health care providers, and those who are working with individuals who test positive or are in the group of those who are potentially infected – their position with regards to the use of face coverings has changed from not required to recommended. This recommendation is in addition to the existing guidance on hand washing and maintaining social distance. Please view the below Attachment for full details.
The CDC’s March 25thupdate indicates no change in Covid-19 warnings regarding mail or packaging and the ability of the virus to survive on cardboard surfaces for up for to 24 hours. As we stated in our last update, because the average delivery time for mail or packages exceeds this timeframe, the probability of direct transmission between the sender and recipient is minimal.That is not to say that a handler, in the transport process, cannot transmit the virus to a package or envelop. This is only a minor concern, however. Conversations with postal serviceemployees, FedEx and UPS indicate that they are all practicing enhanced personal protective protocols. Here are a few recommendations for receiving mail from outside carriers or delivery services.