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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, grocery shoppers must take precautions to avoid contracting the virus. Here are some tips for how to stay safe while filling your cart.

1. Carefully decide who goes - Select one individual to go grocery shopping for your household. This should be the healthiest person and someone who’s free of COVID-19 symptoms. Anyone who is pregnant, over the age of 70, has a weakened immune system or a chronic health condition (especially if it affects their respiratory system) should stay home.

2. Make only one trip a week - You should visit the grocery store as infrequently as possible, so write a list to avoid forgetting anything. Pick up enough supplies to last you for a week or two, but don’t take more than you need. Also, it’s best to avoid stores during peak hours. If there’s a big lineup when you arrive, consider returning at another time.

3. Follow social distancing guidelines - Make sure to wear a face mask and always stay at least six feet away from other shoppers. If the aisles are marked with arrows, follow them so that traffic only flows in one direction. At the checkout counter, be prepared to pay with a credit or debit card and to pack your own groceries.

4. Follow health guidelines - Make sure to sanitize your hands before you enter and exit the store. Wearing rubber gloves is unnecessary, but it can be useful to bring disinfectant wipes. You can use them to clean the grocery cart and open freezer doors. Remember to not touch your face.

When you get home, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. You can decontaminate items with a disinfectant wipe before you put them away, but virus particles will degrade on their own quickly. After you unpack the groceries, wash your hands again and disinfect all the surfaces you touched since coming home.

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