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UT doctor provides advice on how to safely open packages, mail amid coronavirus pandemic

Elizabeth Jacobs M.D. also explained what to do if someone in your household tests positive for COVID-19.

AUSTIN, Texas — Most people are taking precautions to protect their families from the coronavirus, but Elizabeth Jacobs M.D. explains what you should do if someone in your household is infected. 

Jacobs, the chief of primary care at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin shared her tips in an instructional video.

Jacobs advised, "First of all, it's important that you sleep in a different room and if you can, do not share a bathroom."  

She also recommends wiping down frequently touched surfaces multiple times a day and limiting contact between household pets and the person with COVID-19.

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In a second video, Jacobs explains what you should do when you receive your mail.

While it is safe to open packages and mail at home, Jacobs suggests certain extra steps to ensure the safety and wellbeing of family members.

Jacobs advises people to leave their packages and mail in a protected area outside of the house for 24 hours before bringing them inside. COVID-19 can live on some paper and cardboard surfaces for this period of time.

If you can't wait that long, Jacobs also recommends using gloves while opening mail and packages. Gloves can be useful, but it is still necessary to wash your hands for 20 seconds after, she said.

WATCH: Social distancing in Central Texas: How are we doing?

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