LITTLE ROCK, Ark — While we're all encouraged to stay safe and inside as best we can during this coronavirus pandemic, one place many of us simply can't help but visit is the grocery store.
We've got some tips from the Arkansas Grocers and Retail Merchants Association to help you shop safe.
- Remember to check the policies of the grocery stores you're visiting before you go in. Some places may make lines wait outside. Some might limit the amount of customers allowed in. Also, remember some stores now have special hours in place for vulnerable populations. You could be asked to leave if you try to shop during those special times.
- Speaking of time, with many stores implementing their own social distancing and shopping policies, your trips will likely take longer. Expect it. Plan for it.
- Before you get to the store, disinfect reusable grocery bags. If you do bring your own bags, you should bag your own groceries at the store. Keep in mind some places are now choosing to temporarily not allow them in stores.
- Make sure to have a face mask. A clean, cloth mask is recommended by the CDC for when you're out and about. The CDC says cloth masks made from household items or made at home from common materials can be helpful for overall public health.
- Inspect produce items with your eyes, not your hands. To avoid any unnecessary handling of fruit and veggies, grab a produce bag to pick up those items instead.
- It's best to avoid all unnecessary handling of all items in store. Try not to pick up anything you don't plan to buy.
- Only stock up on enough items you'd need for about a week of time. Normalized shopping patterns help everyone in the end.
- Do keep in mind, major retailers like Kroger and Walmart offer some form of pick up and delivery services so you could avoid going inside altogether.