When you have to venture out to buy food or other necessary household items, health experts strongly recommend social distancing. So, how does one safety visit the supermarket during these unprecedented times? The American Heart Association offers the following tips:
Wash your hands thoroughly before you go.
When you do go, go during off-peak hours and if possible, bring disinfecting wipes with you – many grocery stores provide sanitizing wipes, but it’s good to have a backup. Your grocery stores may have dedicated days of the weeks and times for persons at higher risk of complications from COVID-19 (persons who are 65 and older and/or persons with underlying health issues).
If you physically go to a grocery store:
At the store:
Upon arrival, wipe down carts and baskets, especially the handles. some grocery stores are providing disinfected shopping carts.
Maintain normal shopping habits and avoid overbuying or hoarding items.
Be extra careful to keep your hands away from your face.
Stay at least six feet away from other shoppers while you’re shopping and when you’re in line to check out.
If possible, use the self-checkout lane – this reduces your contact with other people. use a credit card or virtual payment system (like apple pay or google pay for example) to pay for your groceries.
If you do go through a cashier instead of the self-checkout lane, bag your own groceries – whether you bring your own bags or use the ones provided by the grocery store
Pump some hand sanitizer on your hands on your way out or use sanitizer or soap after loading your car with groceries.
When you get home:
When you get home, assign one person in your household to handle the groceries. This person will unload and clean your items. This is a good way to minimize unnecessary potential exposure to other people in your household.
Wipe down your groceries with a disinfectant wipe or with soap and water. After you’ve cleaned your items and put them away, recycle or discard bags, boxes, or other containers and then clean any surfaces your grocery bags and groceries touched – think counter tops, refrigerator handles, cabinet and pantry handles.
Wash your hands again.
If you get your items delivered:
Step 1 – Order earlier than you usually do. Amid higher demand, you may have to wait longer than normal to receive your items.
Step 2 – Avoid a direct hand-off. apps like Instacart have a “Leave at my door” option – use it.
Step 3 – If you live alone and are unable to bend over to lift a bag, or bags, or a box, think about a table or bench at your door, if possible, where groceries can be left.
Step 4 – Tip electronically, if possible – most apps have this option
Step 5 – Assign one person in your household to handle the groceries. this person will unload and clean your items. this is a good way to minimize unnecessary potential exposure to other people in your household.
Step 6 – Wipe down your groceries with a disinfectant wipe or with soap and water. after you’ve cleaned your items and put them away, recycle or discard bags, boxes, or other containers and then clean any surfaces your grocery bags and groceries touched – think counter tops, refrigerator handles, cabinet and pantry handles.
Step 7 – Wash your hands again.
For more information about the American Heart Association, visit www.heart.org.