Safe Shopping Tips amid the COVID-19 Outbreak
Bedford Board of Health – March 27, 2020
On March 23, 2020 Governor Baker released an additional Order allowing COVID-19 Essential Services to continue to operate. A Stay-At-Home Advisory was also issued, urging residents within the State of Massachusetts to stay home as much as possible, and limit unnecessary time spent out in public. Grocery stores, pharmacies and specific retail establishments are included in the list of Essential Services that remain in operation. While residents are limiting time spent in public, some establishments cannot be avoided so many people are wondering how to practice safe shopping during the COVID-19 outbreak. There are many ways that YOU can help limit the spread within Bedford by taking the following steps if you have to go to the grocery store or pharmacy:
Follow the tips below:
- Many grocery stores and pharmacies offer pick-up or delivery options – look on their websites for additional details.
- Food for pets can be purchased online and delivered too though many online retailers.
- Grocery Stores and pharmacies are now required to provide at least one hour every day as a dedicated shopping period for adults 60 years and older.
- Use your credit card instead of handling cash or use payment options associated with a smart phone to limit exposure to high touch surfaces.
- Call stores ahead of time to ask if specific items are in stock to avoid going to a store unnecessarily.
- Shop during low traffic or slow times of the day.
- Us a sanitizing wipes (when available) to wipe your cart, door handles, and other high touch surfaces while shopping. Keep it with you to use throughout your shopping trip to wipe handles as you shop.
- Keep sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer in your car.
- Use hand sanitizer before entering or when exiting the car to go into a store
- Bring a sanitizing wipe into the store with you to disinfect your shopping cart, pin pad, or other high touch surfaces while shopping. Many stores are finding it difficult to keep wipes in stock, bringing your own is the proactive way to ensure you will have one. Disinfecting wipes can be used for door handles and gas pumps too.
- Keep your hands to yourself as much as possible. Only touch items that you intend to purchase. Avoid touching your face while shopping.
- Wash your hands before leaving and after returning home (remind children too).
- Re-usable bags at grocery stores and pharmacies are not to be used until further notice as detailed in an Order released by the Commissioner of Public Health on March 25, 2020.
- Grocery stores and pharmacies are currently implementing additional measures to protect both customers and employees – pay attention and follow these measures!
- Always maintain social distance, keeping 6 feet of distance between you and others – this includes while in line at check-out and while shopping in aisles.
As always, be a good neighbor. Do not over purchase or “hoard” high demand items. Only buy what your household needs which will result in others being able to do the same. This will allow stores a better chance to restock items as well. Check-in with your loved ones, neighbors, and friends often. See how they are feeling and if they need anything. Limit others going to the store, by asking if you can pick up anything for them while you are there – especially for those at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19.
Please continue to visit the Board of Health website at www.bedfordma.gov/boh for COVID-19 updates as they become available.