We sincerely hope that you and your loved ones are staying healthy and safe. With most of the country living under stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19, trips to the grocery store are one of the few reasons to venture out. To help keep you safe when grocery shopping, we’ve provided some practical tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
1. Evaluate your risk before visiting the store.
Those who are highly immunosuppressed, have cancer, on certain medications, or over the age of 65, should consider other options such as buying online or having someone else shop for them.
2. Plan your shopping list in advance.
Organize your list by aisle, or by group of items, to help you get in and out of the store faster. Additionally, purchase two weeks’ worth of groceries to minimize trips to the store.
3. Shop alone.
This will help limit your time in the store. If possible, leave the kids at home. Children tend to touch everything, increasing the risk of virus exposure. If you must bring a child with you, make sure they don’t touch anything.
4. Practice social distancing.
Stay at least 6 feet away from others while shopping and in lines. Also when out in public, cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face covering.
5. Wipe shopping cart down with a sanitizing cloth.
If you don’t have access to disinfectant wipes, wear a pair of latex or other single use gloves while you shop and discard them when you leave.
6. Limit touching.
Grab items from the back of the shelf as they have not been handled as much. Don’t sort through produce with your bare hands. Instead, use a glove, or stick your hand inside a fresh, store-supplied bag and use the outside like a glove to pick up and inspect the produce you want.
7. Use a non-contact payment method.
Use Apple Pay or Google Pay. Or, if your debit/credit card has the contactless tap-to-pay feature, use it. This prevents you from having to sign the touchscreen or enter your PIN code on areas that others touch daily.
8. Wash your hands immediately after visiting the store.
After leaving the store, use hand sanitizer. When you get home, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
9.Sanitize your car when you get home.
Germs and viruses can follow you into your car. The simplest way to attack COVID-19 according to the experts is with soap and water, and since most dish soaps use only mild detergents. Also, according to the experts at Consumer Reports, "don’t use bleach or hydrogen peroxide on the inside of your car as they will likely damage your car’s upholstery. And do not use ammonia-based cleaners on car touch screens, as they can damage their anti-glare and anti-fingerprint coatings."
10. Take your shoes off when you get home.
Droplets containing the virus can fall to the ground and be picked up by feet.