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April 9, 2020

Pandemic Parenting: How to Stay Safe While at the Grocery Store

By Laura Byrne

As we quarantine ourselves at home for the greater good of our community and world to flatten the curve, at some point you’re going to run low on essentials like food. (Because the kids are eating so.many.snacks!)

If you absolutely must leave the house to go grocery shopping or head to your neighborhood drugstore to pick up a prescription, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself and your family.

Based on CDC recommendations, you should do the following:

*Do not leave the house if you feel sick. This is the obvious point, but still worth mentioning. If you do not have someone in the house who can run the errand for you, reach out to a friend or family member or considering delivery.

*Let the essential items come to you. Order online. Use delivery services like Instacart and Shipt which are widely available in the Tampa Bay Area. Take advantage of curbside pick up-most stores are offering this service now. For restaurant food delivery, use apps like Uber Eats and Postmates.

*Only leave the house if you absolutely have to. The more you can limit your outside contact with others, the better. We know–this is the hard part. We miss people, too.

*If you MUST leave the house to shop, here are steps you can take to protect yourself:

  1. Stay at least 6 feet away from others.
  2. Wear a cloth face covering that covers your nose and mouth. Learn more here.
  3. Wipe down the shopping cart with disinfectant wipes.
  4. DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE. This is hard, but resist the urge.
  5. Use touchless pay if you can. If you need to use cash or card machine, use hand sanitizer right after.
  6. Use hand sanitizer when you leave the store and wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you get home.

NOTE: There is a proper way to use hand sanitizer–rub your hands together and make sure it stays on your hands for at least 20 seconds. If it dries before then, use more.

Learn more here.

When you get home and need to unpack your groceries or food delivery items, here are the steps the CDC recommends:

*According to the CDC, there is no evidence that you can contract COVID-19 from food or food packaging, but you can still take these four easy steps to stay safe as you normally would: CLEAN, SEPARATE, COOK, CHILL

Wipe down the outside containers with a sanitizing wipe if it makes sense and put food away. You can also put the food away and wait a few days. But, always wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water after handling the container.

When you’re done putting everything away, wipe down the countertop and wash your hands.

Did you order take out? Remove food from container and put on plate or place in new container. Then, wash your hands.

FOLLOW ALONG ALL OF OUR CORONAVIRUS RELATED COVERAGE HERE.

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