Grocery Stores Implement COVID-19 Prevention
Grocery stores can play an important role in protecting their employees and customers from COVID-19 infections by following personal and environmental hygiene practices. Southern Seven Health Department has begun assisting stores throughout the southern seven county region in implementing the following industry best practices recommended by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). Such guidance can help keep employees and customers stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as slow the spread of the disease. Over the weeks ahead, expect stores to implement the following if they haven’t done so already.
- Post a sign(s) at the entrance(s) and throughout the store alerting customers that they must follow the 6ft separation rule.
- Post sign(s) for customers and employees alerting them of efforts in place regarding COVID-19 o Information for Employees.
- Announce social distancing expectations through PA system periodically throughout the day.
- Set up floor markers in stores to show people how far apart they need to be from each other when waiting to check out.
- Regularly clean the conveyor belt, as well as the surrounding area, with a disinfectant and sanitizing wipes between shoppers checking out.
- Have designated employee(s) regularly walk the floor to ensure that customers are following social distancing rules and provide guidance as needed.
- Consider staggering the number of shoppers in the store at one time to allow for increased distance between shoppers.
- Consider controlling the flow of shoppers through the store by use of one-way aisles so shoppers reduce the frequency of shoppers crossing paths.
- Place shield guards in front of the cashier and/or bagger that may not have the ability to stand 6ft away from the customer.
Customers can also do their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while shopping.
- Discontinue using reusable bags.
- If your store has online delivery or curbside pickup capabilities, use those methods before coming to the store.
- Use self-checkout lanes where possible to reduce the interaction between employees and consumers.
- Use credit/debit cards for purchases to reduce the danger of transmission through money.
- Avoid self-serve foods including hot bars, cold bars, and buffets, as well as product sampling. Stores will be limiting use of these conveniences.
- Maintain a 6-foot distance from shoppers and grocery store staff.
- Stay home if you are sick. Make use of community members willing to do your grocery shopping.
- Use curb-side pickup or grocery delivery services.
- If available, use sanitizing wipes to wipe down carts and shopping baskets
Using proper hand hygiene protocols can help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
Or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water is not available;
Or soap and water or a 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer should be used if the hands are visibly soiled.
Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Following social distancing recommendations and proper handwashing will help prevent the spread of the disease. For more information, contact Southern Seven Health Department at 618-634-2297 or visit https://www.southern7.org/coronavirus-covid-19.html.