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Slowing the Spread of COVID-19 While Grocery Shopping

March 24, 2020

Together, we can slow the spread of COVID-19 by making a conscious effort to keep a physical distance between each other when we have to go out in public. Public Health is working with our food stores to ensure this vital service continues so we all have access to safe food. Many food stores have put strong measures in place to protect their staff and the public.

The following practices will also help reduce your exposure in the grocery store setting, and protect those who are providing this vital service.

If you are sick do not go out and shop. STAY HOME.

If you have arrived home from travelling, DO NOT SHOP, ask a friend or family member to help. Or Take advantage of on-line curb side services or grocery delivery services.

Keep Clean

  • Clean the handle of your cart
  • Bring your own wipes and hand sanitizer, although the stores have been trying hard to keep a public stock the supplies are short
  • Wash or sanitize your hands as you enter and after to get into your car
  • If you use reusable bags or containers be sure to clean and sanitize these between uses

Keep Your Distance

  • Avoid shopping in large groups
  • Keep your distance from other shoppers and employees while in the store, 2 arms-length from each other is an easy way to measure your distance
  • Avoid common greetings, such as handshakes a simple wave and a friendly smile is just as effective
  • If the grocery store seems busy, come back another time to prevent larger gatherings
  • Offer to grocery shop for those who are self-isolating or those who may be at higher risk like older adults and those in poor health

Keep Safe

  • Remember everyday food safety practices such as separating raw meat from ready to eat food in your cart
  • Wash fruits and vegetables when arriving home and before eating

Please do not hoard, when you do this your friends and neighbours may go without.

The Leeds, Grenville, Lanark District Health Unit understands this is a very stressful and uncertain time for everyone. Physical distancing can also lead to social isolation, check on the well-being of friends and family but please do it safely. Try to spend some time outside each day.


For media interviews, contact Susan Healey, Communications Co-ordinator, 613-802-0550.