As COVID-19 continues to spread everywhere, including here in the Treasure Valley, the simple task of grocery shopping can now make you nervous. As we're up to 188 confirmed cases here in Idaho as of last night, with three deaths associated with the coronavirus, it's good to be aware of how you can shop safely.

New York magazine has compiled the following tips from infectious disease experts to help you be more confident at the grocery store, even in a time like this.

  • Avoid going in a store at all. If possible, arrange for delivery or curbside pickup.
  • Go early. Head over at a time when there's unlikely to be a lot of people there.
  • Remember social distancing. Stay at least six feet away from other shoppers.
  • Seek out stores that limit the people inside. Fewer people encourages social distancing.
  • Avoid buffets of prepared foods. You don't know who coughed near those items.
  • Think twice before wearing gloves. Gloves prevent contact with germy surfaces but can create a false sense of security; considering washing hands or hand-sanitizing instead.
  • Use wipes. Think about wiping down containers you get from the grocery store, depending on how at-risk you believe yourself to be.
  • Order from local restaurants. Use no-contact delivery. Standard food safety practices and keeping sick employees home should decrease risk to you.
  • Be cautious with boxes. While contents of online orders are generally safe, remember the virus could live up to 24 hours on cardboard.

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