Shop Safely during COVID-19: What to do Before Going Out, Inside Establishment, and Once Home

Tips to Shop Safely during COVID-19
from the North Andover Health Department 

Social Distancing is a method recommended by the CDC and Massachusetts Department of Public Health to help limit and prevent the spread of illnesses such as COVID-19. This includes actions like limiting exposure to public places with large groups of people.

However, at some point you may need to go to a potentially crowded or busy establishment, such as a grocery store, in order to purchase items for yourself, your family or others. By following the tips listed below, you can help yourself and others continue to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while shopping.

Before Going Out:
●  If you are sick, elderly or immunocompromised do not go shopping. Call Town Hall at (978) 208 6070, or ask a family member or friend if they would purchase items for you and drop them off.
●  Check to see if the establishment has a delivery or online curbside pick-up option.
●  Shop at hours which will be less busy.
●  Make a list of items before leaving to minimize time in the store and avoid excess purchasing.
●  Keep trips to a minimum.
●  Keep in mind family, friends and neighbors who may be at risk and unable to shop. Call them and see if they need anything.
●  Wash your hands before going shopping.
●  If ordering takeout, stick to the estimated time frame for picking up the order.

Inside Establishment:
●  Sanitize your hands and the handle of shopping cart or basket.
●  Avoid touching foods, especially fruit and produce, unless you will be buying it.
●  Keep your distance from other shoppers and staff.
●  Cover all your coughs and sneezes.
●  If waiting in line, try to maintain 6 feet between you and the person in front of you.
●  AVOID PANIC BUYING. This results in empty shelves. Buy what you need according to the list you made.
●  Pay by credit or debit when available.
●  Where possible, have your receipt emailed to you instead of handed to you.
●  If picking up take-out, only enter the store once you’re food is ready to go. Instead of lingering in the lobby or outside the door, wait in your car.

Once at Home:
●  Wash hands before and after unpacking all items.
●  Wash fruits and vegetables once home.
●  Wipe down the surfaces that the grocery bags were placed on.
●  If delivering items to family, a friend or neighbor, make sure to alert them that the items have been dropped off to avoid any spoilage of food.

As always, please remember that limiting the spread of COVID-19 is a community effort which starts at the individual level. By following these tips, you can help one another avoid spreading COVID-19.