APRIL 2, 2020

Recommended Guidance for Preventing Spread of COVID-19 in Grocery Stores

Grocery stores can play an important role in protecting their employees and customers from COVID-19 infections by following personal and environmental hygiene practices. The linked guide lists industry best practices that can be employed to keep employees and customers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following social distancing recommendations and proper handwashing will help prevent the spread of the disease. The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to mainly spread from close contact (i.e., within about 6 feet) with a person who is currently sick with COVID-19 as well as contact with surfaces contaminated with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The virus likely spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory infections spread. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. Older people and people of all ages with severe underlying health conditions are at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness.

Public health experts continue to learn about SARS-CoV-2, but the linked guidance represents preventative measures that the Illinois Department of Public Health has confidence in issuing.

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