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Can you open packages shipped from Wuhan, China, during the coronavirus outbreak?

When Brandon Banks' new jacket arrived on his doorstep Friday, the origin on the shipping label caught his eye: Wuhan, China.

FLORISSANT, Mo. — It was an offer Brandon Banks couldn't refuse.

"This is kind of the thing that popped up on my Facebook feed," he said pointing to a photo of the roughly $50 bomber-style jacket he found online.

He purchased the jacket in November, but when it finally arrived Friday the origin on the shipping label caught his eye.

"Oh, Wuhan, China," Banks said. "Immediately I'm like 'that's the place where it's ground zero for the coronavirus.'"

With a family that includes two young children, Banks said the package never made it through the front door. 

He reached out to the CDC, but the agency didn't give him a definite timeline about when he could safely open the package.

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So, the bright yellow mailer still sits quarantined in his garage.

"I don't want to take any chances right now," Banks said.

Medical experts tell 5 On Your Side scientists are still researching the strain from Wuhan, but they know from other coronaviruses that it typically only survives outside of the body for a matter of hours — maybe days — much shorter than transportation time from China.

"The risks are very low because of the time that has elapsed," Dr. Carole Baskin said. "Shipping takes time. Temperatures during the shipment were not conducive to the survivability of the virus on a sweater or jacket."

Banks tried to reach out to the seller, as well as Paypal since he used their service for payment. 

But he said he's waiting to hear back, so the package remains unopened until he feels better about his chances or until he can "return to sender."

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