Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Tips for Dealing with COVID-19 in the Grocery Store

In spite of the pandemic and the changes in our behavior that are required, most of us still have to visit our local grocery store on occasion. Here are some guidelines that you should follow to protect your health and those around you:

  • If you are in an at-risk group due to health issues or age, let someone else do your shopping. 
  • If you are ill in anyway - let someone else do your shopping.
  • Designate one person in the family to shop. Don't bring your kids.
  • Try to go at less busy times.
  • If your store has Senior Shopping hours and you qualify - take advantage of them. If you don't qualify - respect them.
  • Take the time to make a complete list of your essential items before you go to the store to minimize your time inside and to limit the number of trips required.
  • Take social distancing seriously - remain six feet away from other shoppers.
  • Do not socialize. Get your items and get out as fast as possible.
  • Bring your own hand sanitizers and wipes.  The stores often run out of these items for customer use.
  • Wipe down cart handles and areas that you may come in contact with before shopping.
  • Don't pick up or touch items unless you plan to purchase them.
  • If you must cough or sneeze - do so into your sleeve.
  • Don't touch your face, mouth, nose and eyes
  • If it makes you more comfortable - use a face mask.
  • There is conflicting information on the use of gloves. If not used properly or removed properly, they may do more harm than good. In most cases, hand washing or sanitizing may be as or more effective.
  • At checkout, if possible use a debit card rather than cash. This limits any potential transfer to and from the clerk. Use self- checkout if possible.
  • If possible, use hand sanitizer when you return to your vehicle before touching your steering wheel, etc.
  • Wash your hands when you arrive home and after putting away your items. 
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables should be rinsed (do not use soap) and allowed to dry.
  • It is generally not necessary to wipe down packaged items but if you choose to - use antiseptic wipes.
That's a rather lengthy list but common sense and common courtesy will go a long way:
Wash your hands
Use social distancing
Don't touch your face, mouth, nose and eyes
If you're sick - don't go

And by the way, the workers in these stores are probably working overtime and exposed to hundreds if not thousands of people everyday. Show them a little respect and courtesy.

 The following link from LeBonheur Children's Hospital has some additional information and tips: