Going to the grocery store

We and the community are safest from COVID-19 when we all stay in our homes, but, eventually, even the best stocked of us need to go to the grocery store. Grocery stores are working hard to keep their employees and customers as safe as possible.

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Grocery stores are very diverse and what works for one might not work for another. We’ve seen some grocery stores help us stay six feet apart from each other by providing signage or spacing markers on the floor. Others are monitoring traffic flow and focusing on helping us stay six feet apart when lines begin to form. And some are limiting the total number of people in the store at any one time. Like all of us, grocery store employees should not work when they are sick, wash their hands frequently, use hand sanitizers, and refrain from touching their faces.

Keep yourself and grocery stores as safe as possible

  • Limit the number of times you go to a grocery store to once a week or even less frequently.
  • Shop with a list and like you mean business. Save the browsing for later! The less time you are in there, the better!
  • Shop by yourself, if possible, to help limit the number of people in the aisles. Better yet, can you take a neighbor’s list with you and shop for them while you are at it?
  • Shop at less popular times when the stores will be less crowded.
  • Consider wearing a cloth face covering to protect others in case you have COVID-19 but haven’t developed any symptoms.
  • If you use the self-checkout stands, be sure to stand apart from other customers and from staff who may need to approach your station to help you.
  • Wash your hands or use sanitizer after handling money. Money is not likely a primary mode of transmission of coronavirus, but it’s a good idea to disinfect after handling money.
  • Don’t touch your face! Avoid using your phone, putting on chapstick, scratching your beard, or doing anything that would bring your hands into contact with your face.
  • Use hand sanitizer when you get in the car.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly when you get home.
  • You can toss packaging and wipe down bottles when you get home, but do not put disinfectants like bleach or cleaning products on your produce or directly onto your food, that is bad for you.

Know someone who could use COVID-19 information in a different language?

The Department of Health website has information on coronavirus in the most common languages spoken in Washington. Some of our most popular information has been translated into 26 different languages. We also have a Spanish-language blog, BienestarWA.

Practice compassion

The governor announced yesterday that K-12 schools in Washington will be physically closed at least until the end of this school year. Reach out to a school kid you know today. How are they feeling about this news? Students may have strong and maybe conflicting emotions about this! Just listen.

Do you know a family that depends on school meals to feed their family? The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) created an online tool — the “Meals for Kids” Site Finder — to help families find free meals for children while schools are closed during the coronavirus pandemic. The map is available in both English and Spanish.

More information

Stay tuned to our blog for more information on how you can help stop the spread of COVID-19. Sign up to be notified whenever we post new articles.

Information in this blog changes rapidly. Check the state’s COVID-19 website for up-to-date and reliable info at coronavirus.wa.gov.

Answers to your questions or concerns about COVID-19 in Washington state may be found at our website. You can also contact our call center at 1–800–525–0127. Hours: 6 am-10 pm, seven days a week.

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