How to stay safe while shopping for groceries

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Credit: WINK News

We all still have to brave the stores during the coronavirus pandemic, but how do you stay safe while shopping for the essentials you need? And how do store workers stay safe?

A Southwest Florida woman is asking business leaders to think about the safety of their workers, their families and their customers.

Rosa Guidicelli’s son works at a grocery store, and she said that with the COVID-19 outbreak, the conditions are concerning.

“When I thought about my son working in a grocery store and having to be behind a register – in such close contact with the person who’s handling all of these groceries – and he’s not wearing a mask, that really concerns me. And then I thought – well, what about everybody else?”

Guidicelli would like to see grocery stores move to pick-up and delivery only.

Until that happens, there are simple steps you can take to stay safe while shopping.

One, avoid peak shopping times – like during your lunch break or right after work.

Two, reduce the number of trips you make by fully stocking up when you’re out.

Three, remember to practice social distancing at all times.

“You’re not doing anybody a favor if you keep six feet of distance when you’re in the store, but while you’re in line, you’re right next to each other,” said Kristine Hollingsworth with the Florida Department of Health, Collier County.

When it comes to what not to do, Florida Gulf Coast University Assistant Professor Bob Hawkes said that wearing gloves while shopping won’t help you as much as you might think.

“The human tendency is to touch your face. so if you touch a substance and it’s on the gloves – you touch the shopping cart, or the countertop, and then you reach up and touch your eyes – you’re still transmitting the virus,” he said.

Instead, just remember to wash your hands. That way, you can protect yourself and the people who are helping the community survive this crisis.

“It’s not only those in public health and nurses and doctors who are fighting COVID-19, but it’s also those who work essential services such as grocery stores and gas stations, who are really helping us maintain some normalcy of life,” said Hollingsworth.

Workers can keep safe by wiping down registers and conveyor belts regularly, and by washing their hands as much as possible.

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