Running Essential Errands: Tips to Stay Healthy

Running Essential Errands: Tips to Stay Healthy

As Michigan continues to shelter at home, you may have questions about how to go about running essential errands. Running an essential errand means leaving home only if you must, such as grocery shopping, visiting the pharmacy, banking and picking up takeout food from restaurants.

Those at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 due to age or chronic health problems should take extra precautions to reduce their chances of contracting the virus. They should try to stay home and avoid close contact if at all possible, including having groceries and food delivered.

To help you stay healthy and safe running essential household errands, here are some additional tips:

  • Consider ordering groceries or takeout food online for home delivery or curbside pickup. Whenever possible, accept deliveries without in-person contact.
  • Send only one person out, and have that person wear a cloth face mask. Shop early morning or later in the evening, when stores are less busy. Some stores even have special designated hours for those at higher risk.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others when shopping or standing in checkout lines.
  • Clean your shopping cart with a disinfectant wipe. Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Take advantage of touch-less payment (paying without touching money, a card or a keypad), if available.
  • Sanitize your hands when you leave the store, pharmacy or restaurant. When you return home, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Disinfect surfaces in your home that came into contact with your groceries or bags. Follow normal food safety guidelines. (According to the CDC, there is currently “no evidence of food, food containers,or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.” However, similar to other viruses, it is possible the virus causing COVID-19 can survive on surfaces or objects.)
  • Plan to order and pick up your prescriptions at the same time. Discuss getting prescription or medical supplies that last longer with your health care provider. Use drive-thru windows or mail-order.
  • Do your banking online or at the drive-thru ATM. Clean the ATM keyboard with a disinfecting wipe and follow up your transaction by using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Talk to your doctor online, by phone or email. Many doctors are providing care through telemedicine or virtual visits right now.
  • If you have symptoms or think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, call your health care provider first versus visiting his/her office, urgent care or the emergency room. Holland Hospital offers access to virtual screening for COVID-19. If you have a medical emergency (e.g., heart attack or stroke), call 911. Hospitals have safety measures in place to protect you from COVID-19, so do not delay.

Holland Hospital is prepared to care for coronavirus patients, while also working to prevent the spread of infection and keep our community safe. For updates on our response to the virus, visit hollandhospital.org/covid19.

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