How to stay safe at the grocery store during the coronavirus pandemic

The White House Coronavirus Task Force is telling people to avoid going out in the next two weeks, even to the grocery store.

But for those who have to go shopping, there are tips to stay safe.

While some stores, like Trader Joe’s, are limiting the customers inside their stores, most of the bigger grocery chains are not doing crowd control, including Giant, Harris Teeter, Safeway and Shoppers.

Because of that, it’s up to customers to pay extra attention and make sure they are keeping an appropriate distance from others.

Montgomery County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles said it’s also important to have a plan. It’s advice he’s given his own parents.

“We talk about coming up with a grocery list, a resource list. And so, when they go out... if they're going out together or separately, they make one trip and they get everything together at that time. You know, for them, they're over 60 and so, thinking about going grocery shopping first thing in the morning where crowds are minimal and your risk of coming into contact with a large group of folks is minimal and just developing strategies such as that when you do go out in public," said Dr. Gayles.

The Centers for Disease Control now recommends wearing a face mask in public, though the CDC is not urging people to wear gloves.

Health experts say what’s more important than wearing gloves is not touching your face.

You should go shopping as infrequently as possible and use a home delivery service like Instacart if that’s available to you.

Make sure you wash hands as soon as you get home from the store.

While wiping down your grocery cart is important, federal health experts are not saying it’s necessary to wipe down your groceries.