Staying Safe While Running Errands During the Covid-19 Pandemic



As communities across the United States take steps to slow the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) by limiting close contact, people are facing new challenges and questions about how to meet basic household needs, such as buying groceries and medicine, getting gas and banking. The following information provides advice about how to meet these household needs in a safe and healthy manner.


Shopping for Food and Other Household Essentials

If you need to go to the store to gather household essentials or groceries, keep the following tips in mind:

  1. Stay home if you’re feeling sick—Avoid shopping if you are sick or have symptoms of COVID-19, which include a fever, cough or shortness of breath.

  2. Order online or use curbside pickup—If possible, order food and other items online for home delivery or curbside pickup. Only visit the grocery store, or other stores selling household essentials, in person when you absolutely need to. This will limit your potential exposure to others and the virus that causes COVID-19.

  3. Protect yourself while shopping—If you’re unable to order your goods online or you must go shopping inside the store, keep these tips in mind to stay safe:

  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others while shopping and in lines

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face covering when you have to go out in public.

  • When you do have to visit in person, go during hours when fewer people will be there (for example, early morning or late night).

  • If you are at higher risk for severe illness, find out if the store has special hours for people at higher risk. If they do, try to shop during those hours. People at higher risk for severe illness include adults 65 or older and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions.

  • Disinfect the shopping cart by using disinfecting wipes, if available.

  • Do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth.

  • If possible, use touchless payment (pay without touching money, a card or a keypad). If you must handle money or use a card or keypad, use hand sanitizer right after paying.

Accepting Deliveries, Takeout, and Mail

Keep the following tips in mind to stay safe when you accept deliveries and get your mail:

  1. Limit in-person contact if possible.

  • Pay online or on the phone when you order (if possible).

  • Accept deliveries without in-person contact whenever possible. Ask for deliveries to be left in a safe spot outside your house (such as your front porch or lobby), with no person-to-person interaction. Otherwise, stay at least 6 feet away from the delivery person.

2. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after accepting deliveries or collecting mail.

  • After receiving your delivery or bringing home your takeout food, wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

  • After collecting mail from a post office or home mailbox, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Banking

If you need to do banking during the COVID-19 pandemic, keep these tips in mind to stay safe:

  1. Bank online whenever possible.

  2. If you must visit the bank, use the drive-thru ATM if one is available. Clean the ATM keyboard with a disinfecting wipe before you use it. When you are done, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you get home.

Getting Gasoline

If you need to fill up your gas tank during the pandemic, keep these tips in mind to stay safe:

  1. Use gloves or disinfecting wipes on handles

  2. and buttons before you touch them (if available).

Going to the Doctor

If you’re feeling ill due to COVID-19 or another unrelated reason, keep these tips in mind to stay safe:

  1. Talk to your doctor online, by phone or email.

  2. Use telemedicine, if available, or communicate with your doctor or nurse by phone or email.

  3. Talk to your doctor about rescheduling procedures that are not urgently needed.

  4. If you must visit in-person, protect yourself and others with these tips:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face covering when you have to go out in public.

  • Do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth.

  • Use disinfecting wipes on frequently touched surfaces such as handles, knobs and touchpads (if available).

  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others while inside and in lines.

  • When paying, use touchless payment methods if possible. If you cannot use touchless payment, sanitize your hands after paying via card, cash or check. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you get home.

Note: If you think you have COVID-19, let the office know and follow this guidance


Going to the Pharmacy

If you need to go to the pharmacy to get medications, keep these tips in mind to stay safe:

  1. Plan to order and pick up all your prescriptions at the same time.

  2. If possible, call prescription orders in ahead of time. Use drive-thru windows, curbside services (wait in your car until the prescription is ready), mail-order or other delivery services. Do the same for pet medications.

  3. Check with your doctor and pharmacist to see if you can get a larger supply of your medications so you do not have to visit the pharmacy as often.

More Information

For more information regarding how to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website and contact our Insurance Professionals at E.B. Cohen at (973)-403-9500.

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