It can be overwhelming to prepare for the grocery store nowadays, especially with all the information out there about staying safe. Figuring what works and what doesn’t can be hard, which is why we’ve collected the most important things to know about staying safe at the store.
Should I be wearing gloves to the store?
You can wear gloves if you think they will help you remember not to touch your face, but otherwise, gloves can transmit COVID-19 the same as hands can. If you touch things with gloves on, you can spread the virus from object to object like you can with bare hands. If you decide to wear gloves, don’t touch your face and be aware that you should still be very careful about contamination. Wash your hands before and after you put them on, and discard or sanitize them after every use. If you plan to sanitize things like cart handles at the store, however, gloves are useful for keeping your hands safe.
What about hand sanitizer?
Although hand sanitizer does not replace hand washing, bringing hand sanitizer to the store can help you stay just a bit safer! You’ll still have to be careful with your hands, but a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol can be used when you don’t have access to soap and water. Don’t despair if you can’t find any hand sanitizer in the stores, though, since washing your hands is much more effective. Sanitizer can be nice to have, but it’s not a necessity.
What should I be disinfecting?
The most important things to disinfect are at the store. Bringing sanitizing wipes along with you will allow you to sanitize high-touch areas like the handle of the shopping cart, doorknobs, and the touch screen at checkout if you can.
As for disinfecting the packaging of things you buy, there are varying opinions on what is best. Dr. David Chansolme, an infectious disease specialist at INTEGRIS Southwest Medical Center, recommends sanitizing the packaging of anything you buy. On the other hand, Dr. Dale Bratzler, a specialist in internal medicine at OU Medical Center, says that it isn’t as likely that someone has touched the individual product that you’ve bought, so you might not have to sanitize everything. COVID-19 lasts up to three days on steel and plastic and 24 hours on cardboard, so if you want to be extra careful, clean all plastic and metal surfaces and leave cardboard boxes to sit undisturbed for a full day before opening them.
What do I use to disinfect things?
Most bleach wipes will disinfect things thoroughly, but you may not want to use bleach wipes at the store or on certain objects. When it comes to disinfecting surfaces with alcohol-based wipes, the CDC recommends an alcohol content of at least 70 percent. When disinfecting things, make sure to take the necessary precaution of wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation.
What are the most important things I should be doing to stay safe from the Coronavirus?
Social distancing and washing hands frequently are the most important things to do to stop the spread of COVID-19. Keeping your distance from people and keeping clean reduce infection levels greatly, so be sure to do your part!