As restrictions are slowly lifted throughout Nova Scotia, we need to continue following Public Health recommendations to prevent catching and spreading COVID-19.
It’s important to remember that this virus is spread primarily by droplets from the respiratory system. That means the main way you could catch it is through close contact with someone who has it, and who is coughing or sneezing.
A second but less likely way COVID-19 is spread is by touching a contaminated surface with your hand and then touching your face. This is called a smear infection.
If you are frequently washing your hands for 20 seconds before and after doing things like eating or wiping your nose, you will significantly reduce your chance of becoming infected.
But how do you reduce the risk of catching the virus when you need groceries or other essentials?
Picking up essential items
Limiting the contact you have with others is key to staying safe from this virus. You can opt to purchase groceries online and have them delivered to your home or pick them up curbside at the store.
When you must run errands, visit the store during non-peak hours, which reduces your likelihood of coming into contact with someone who has symptoms. Check with your store: many companies reserve one hour each morning for seniors and people with health issues. If that’s you—go then.
Another part of our new-normal is that we are being asked to wear a non-medical mask in places such as grocery stores, where six-feet of physical space from others cannot be guaranteed.
Washing your produce and bags
When you get home, rinse your produce well and disinfect plastic and cardboard food packaging. The most important thing to remember is to wash your hands when handling food and before you eat.
Using cloth bags? Wash them in hot water after use. Plastic bags? Recycle them. Using a hard-plastic bin to collect your groceries? Make sure you disinfect it as COVID-19 is proven to live on hard plastics for up to three days.
For all matters related to food safety, check out this link.
There’s always a certain degree of risk associated with everything we do. From what we currently know, there doesn’t seem to be evidence that the virus lives on prepared food. Even so, it doesn’t hurt to wipe down the containers of your delivery order (especially if it’s cardboard) with a sanitizing wipe and then wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before eating.
While it might feel rude, it’s safer to have the deliveries dropped at your door and to receive the item after the delivery person has left your doorway. Canada Post is recommending that people ‘give employees space and avoid opening the door or greeting them personally when they are at the door to deliver.’
Are there other daily tasks that you have questions about during COVID-19? Let us know!
If you have general questions about COVID-19, visit the provincial coronavirus info hub or call the toll-free federal info line at 1-833-784-4397.
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