If you need to run essential errands to the grocery store or to the pharmacy, there are ways to ensure you minimize your risk of contracting COVID-19 with minimal preparation and safe habits. Read our tips on how to stay healthy while you get access to your food, medication and other important items.
Plan the timing and the execution of your errands
Before you go out, it is a good idea to plan your itinerary in order to optimize your trip and commute. Make sure to make the minimal amount of stops and gather all your essential items (without stockpiling them) to limit the number of times you will go out during the week.
Avoid rush hour periods to minimize your risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Check if your grocery offers exclusive shopping timeframes for at risk-group and make sure to respect their specific guidelines. Some groceries have implemented a one-person by household shopping policy, as to limit gatherings indoors.
Touch only what you intend on purchasing – do not touch unnecessary items. Inspect them with your eyes first, and then pick them up.
Bring hygienic items with you
If you have them on hand, always bring hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes along with you on your trips. They are useful to disinfect frequently touched spots such as shopping carts, gas pumps, door handles or credit cards. Avoid using cash and always prioritize contactless methods of payment. Some establishment will disinfect shopping carts before they’re being handed to you or make washing stations available.
Always wash your hands and personal belongings after errands
Hand washing for 20 seconds with soap and water remains the most efficient way to fend off COVID-19.
It is important to wash hands in these situations:
- As soon as you get home from your errands.
- Before and after you unpack your purchases, such as groceries.
- Make sure to disinfect your personal belongings as they might have been in contact with COVID-19 through high-contact surfaces. Your phone, keys, wallet and shopping bags should be the first items you clean when you come back from an errand. It never hurts to wash clothing items as well.
While there is no evidence supporting that COVID-19 is transmitted through food itself (although the virus can survive on food surfaces and get on your hands through contact), it is never a bad idea to wash your fresh produce thoroughly before consumption.
Keep your distance
Social distancing measures still apply even though you are cleared to run essential errands. Make sure to keep a distance of 2 meters between yourself and other people. Other tips include:
- Greet people with a wave, instead of with a handshake or a hug.
- Do not use elbow taps as a greeting method, as you may use your elbow to cough or sneeze in.
- Follow the guidelines of the establishment you are visiting, especially when you are waiting in line. Some establishments have marked the floors of areas where you can stand in line, or have limited the amount of people who can go in.
- Remember that social distancing applies to both other customers and staff.
Skip the trip of you are high at risk, have symptoms or need to self-isolate
If you are part of at-risk groups (elderly or immunocompromised people), stay home. Many establishments offer delivery services to provide you what you need right from the comfort of your home, whether it is food or medication. Your pharmacy also offers services allowing you to stay home in self-isolation to protect yourself:
- Delivery services
- Curbside Pick-Up
- Online Renewals through our Mobile Application
Delivery Services must follow strict hygiene standards to stay operational, so rest assured they are the safest method for you and others to get your essential items.
If you need to, have a family who lives separately, or a friend help run errands for you.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your medication, please call your pharmacist.