With stay-at-home orders currently in place for the state of Washington, everyone is doing there best to stay home and protect our community from the spread of COVID-19. At some point, however, we will each need to re-stock our shelves and fridges with essential items and food, which means making a trip out to the stores.
Daily updates to regulations and best practices in the midst of the novel coronavirus leave many community members wondering how to stay safe when at the grocery store.
While every grocery store is doing its part to keep customers and employees safe, there are things that you can do as well to stay healthy and protect those around you. We’ve created a list based on the most recent data to help you keep yourself, your family, and your community safe while shopping for groceries.
Before You Shop
Designate one member of the household to do the shopping.
Social distancing is much easier when you shop alone. Grocery store aisles are narrow and shoppers are already feeling anxious while out in public. Help limit the number of people in the stores at one time by shopping alone.
Make a list
Reduce your shopping time by making a list before you go. Take a quick inventory of what you already have, and come up with meal plans that will utilize all of your supplies. The less time you spend shopping, the less time you are exposed to others.
Offer to shop for a neighbor
If you have an elderly or immunocompromised neighbor, offer to do the shopping for them. COVID-19 is especially dangerous for those with preexisting health issues.
Plan your trip
Limit how often you need to go to the store by planning ahead. If you stock up for two weeks at a time (if possible) you won’t need to run to the store as often.
Find out if the store has special hours
If you fall into a higher risk category for COVID-19 (65+, immunocompromised, have a chronic illness or underlying disease) check to see if the store has special shopping times.
Consider shopping online
Many stores offer online ordering and curbside pickup or even delivery. Check with your local store to see if this is an option.
Stay Safe While At the Grocery Store
Shop during non-peak hours.
It may be difficult to determine what peak hours are these days, but try to keep your shopping to non-peak times in order to limit your exposure to others.
Wear a face mask
A cloth face covering can help protect you as well as others in case you have COVID-19 but haven’t experienced any symptoms.
Disinfect your shopping cart
Make use of the disinfecting wipes provided at many stores or bring your own.
Avoid touching your face
Keep your hands away from your face while shopping, especially after touching grocery items.
Stand 6 feet away from other shoppers
Respect other shoppers and social distancing guidelines by staying 6 feet away from others as much as possible, including in the checkout line.
Use hand sanitizer after you shop
Safe practices include sanitizing your hands after handling money and before you get in your car.
When You Get Home
Wipe down personal items
After shopping, use disinfectant wipes to clean your purse, wallet, phone, and even the handles and steering wheel in your car. Coronavirus can live on different surfaces for several hours to several days. Stay safe by disinfecting things you touched both during and after grocery shopping!
Wash your hands
According to the CDC, it is best to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds once you arrive home from shopping and throughout the day.
Wipe down certain groceries or dispose of the other packaging
While it is unsafe to expose your food directly to disinfectants, it is okay to wipe down bottles, jars, and remove any packaging that isn’t necessary for food storage.
From all of us at Tacoma Pump and Drilling, we encourage you to stay safe—and help keep others safe—during this time!