Shopping Safely in the Midst of COVID-19
As the threat of COVID-19 continues to loom in our communities, many seniors and those caring for the elderly or others with underlying health concerns, are faced with finding safe ways to secure food and other household essentials. There are steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones.
First and foremost, everyone should avoid shopping in person if you are sick or have symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough or shortness of breath. It is recommended to only visit grocery or other stores when you must and to take appropriate precautions. Consider shopping online and following safety measures if you must shop in person.
If possible, shop for food and other essential household items online for delivery or curbside pickup:
- When possible, pay online or on the phone when you order items.
- Accept deliveries without in-person contact. Ask for deliveries to be left in a safe spot outside your home (such as your front porch or lobby), with no person-to-person interaction. Otherwise, stay at least 6 feet away from the delivery person.
- After receiving your delivery or bringing takeout food or mail inside, wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Follow food safety guidelines: clean, separate meat and vegetables, cook and chill. There currently is no evidence that food or food packaging play a significant role in spreading the virus.
If you must shop in person, consider these safety steps:
- Shop when fewer people will be there (for example, early morning or late night).
- If you are at higher risk for severe illness, find out if the store has special hours for people at higher risk and try to shop during these hours.
- Disinfect the shopping cart using disinfecting wipes if available.
- Stay at least 6 feet away from others while shopping and in lines.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a face covering when going out in public.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- If possible, use touchless payment (pay without touching money, a card, or a keypad). If you must handle money, a card, or use a keypad, use hand sanitizer right after paying and when leaving the store.
Following the appropriate safety precautions will help keep both you and your loved ones safe.