Yes, You Really Should Mask Up When Getting Deliveries

Dr. Beverly Ho of the Department of Health reminds us to focus on interactions.

Dr. Beverly Ho
PHOTO BY Shutterstock

( More than a year in and most of us have grown accustomed to getting packages brought to our doorstep, whether it's groceries, impulse buys from a repdigit sale, or food deliveries. Back in 2020, there was a lot of talk about COVID-19 staying on surfaces, leading people to adopt the habit of consistently disinfecting deliveries or groceries. The method varies according to how obsessive you can get and what you have on hand for sanitizing: some use UV light-transmitting gadgets, some wipe the surfaces of the package with a disinfectant, some leave packages in the garage for days before bringing them into the house. Some do all of the above.


In a virtual chat with the Department of Health and other Summit Media editors, we asked Health Promotion Bureau Director Dr. Beverly Ho about the best ways to go about sanitizing the items that we get delivered.

"[The] evidence that the transmission from droplets is actually significantly higher than transmission from surfaces," she explains. "It's really on making sure [there's] ventilation and then wearing your mask and face shield, more than putting [disinfectant] on everything at home," she adds. Dr. Ho shared how some of her friends would use UV light on their food, which she says is "actually not necessary." 

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What's important, according to Dr. Ho, is that you are "making sure you're super well protected with all your gear when you receive your deliveries."

"If you're coming from the house, minsan hindi ka na magma-mask kasi [you're probably thinking] kukunin ko lang naman, sandali lang," she says, but adds that it's important to be mindful of possible interactions with people. "If there's interaction (like getting money or receiving change), there's going to be droplet transmission, particularly if the delivery actually happens in enclosed spaces, [like] if you're in your condo. So I think that's where we need to focus our attention."


When it comes to eating at restaurants, Dr. Ho says that it would be ideal to see more outdoor dining, though she acknowledges that people may not be too keen on the idea because of the heat. "If you actually have the capacity to just eat outside at home or get food delivery, then that's going to be the safer option, at least for now."

Main image from Shutterstock; for illustrative purposes only.

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