Grocery shopping during COVID-19: How to protect yourself and others

SPOKANE, Wash. — Many stores across the country are reducing hours and some are even reducing how many people can be shopping at a time during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Right now, the CDC is recommending people stay six feet apart in essential public settings like grocery stores and pharmacies.

Wearing a cloth face mask can also slow the spread and help those who might be asymptomatic and not know they have the virus yet.

According to a recent Consumer Reports article, here are some extra grocery shopping tips to follow during the pandemic.

First, go to the store at a time when it’s less busy. You can easily Google a store and see what hours they’re typically the busiest.

Take germicide with you — hand sanitizer and wipes for your hands and your shopping cart.

Use a card instead of exchanging cash and change or use systems like Apple Pay so you don’t have to take out your wallet at all.

And sign receipts with your own pen.

While many grocery stores are taking the steps to be cleaner and safer for customers, many are opting to do delivery and grocery pickup.

But you still need to protect yourself with that too.

When it comes to deliveries, if you can, have your items delivered to your doorstep or somewhere nearby to avoid a direct hand-off.

Also, order earlier than usual. Because of high demand, you may have to wait longer for your deliveries.

And if tipping is an option, do so electronically. Same goes for grocery pickups.

During pickups, you can also avoid the spread of germs by opening your own car door.

And when you’ve got your groceries, do your best to disinfect.

Wipe down cartons, glass and can containers or wash your hands after handling them.

Clean your produce thoroughly and wipe down counter tops and surfaces that you touched.

It’s definitely a lot to remember, but none of it’s required. Just some ways to limit your exposure to the virus in addition what supermarkets are already doing to help.