Is shopping in stores safe during an epidemic?
There are ways to reduce the risk, but health experts recommend avoiding it when possible.
The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that holiday shopping in crowded shops is a high-risk activity and that people should limit shopping to anyone in the supermarket.
Instead, the agency recommends shopping online, visiting outdoor markets or using curbside pickup, where employees bring orders for your car.
If you need to enter a store, go during hours when there will be fewer people. Wear a mask and stay at least 6 feet away from others.
A public health specialist at Cornell University, Drs. Try to spend as little time inside the store as possible, says Isaac Wayfuse.
You just want to go in and out, he says. Do your shopping and move on.
Use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when you leave, and then wash your hands with soap and water when you get home.
Retailers are doing all kinds of work to make shoppers feel safe, but they do not eliminate the risk. For example, some shopkeepers check the temperature, but an infected person may not have fever and still spread the virus.
Plastic barriers between customers and cashiers also may not block all drops from an infected person, Weisfuse says. If a store is full of air, they say that there is a sign of poor ventilation, and you should leave.
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