Tips: Protecting yourself while grocery shopping amid COVID-19 outbreak

Local News
Food in a refrigerator

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — With food and grocery shopping still essential amid the Covid-19 pandemic, News 2 spoke to a infectious disease doctor to find out best practices when shoppers go into a store.

“People should feel it’s safe to go to the store, safe to bring groceries home,”said Dr. David Aronoff, Director of the Infectious Disease Division at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

But in this day and age of coronavirus, Dr. Aronoff said there are some sensible way to prevent transmission of the virus.

“Hand hygiene is the most important part and the way we can do that as we shop for example is to bring some hand sanitizer with you or sanitizing wipes,” said Dr. Aronoff.

First focus on wiping down your grocery cart.

“That may be a way for someone who just used the cart and happens to be shedding coronavirus and maybe asymptomatic could contaminate the cart and then you pick it up,” said Dr. Aronoff.

Another tip – try to touch as few foods and packages as possible.

When you reach checkout, be mindful.

“You may be touching keyboards for your credit card when you pay and that may be another opportunity to engage in hand hygiene afterwards,” said Dr. Aronoff.

Aside from sanitizing wipes you’ll often find shoppers wearing masks and gloves for protection.

But Dr. Aronoff said they may not be as effective as you might think.

“If we’re putting on gloves or masks, we may be more likely to touch our face or contaminate our hands just through simply the process of doing all of that,” said Dr. Aronoff.

One exception to wear masks – if a person is sick.

Once you return home from shopping, Dr. Aronoff said wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.

When it comes to your groceries themselves, Dr. Aronoff said time is a good disinfectant.

“Really after about 24 hours, the amount of infectious virus really drops off and so know that as things sit on your shelf, they become really less an infectious material,” said Dr. Aronoff. “So time is on your side.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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