The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we shop for groceries. To keep yourself and others safe, it's important to be aware of the risks and take the necessary precautions. Here are some tips to help you stay safe when you go to the grocery store during the pandemic. Bring Disinfecting Wipes and Sanitizer: Many stores have disinfectant wipes available or cleaning carts for customers when they enter the store. If not, it's a good idea to bring your own wipes and sanitizer to clean your cart or stroller before and after use.
Be Aware of Fraud: Be on the lookout for fraud related to coronavirus. The FDA has provided helpful tips and tools to help you avoid scams. Know Your Vaccine Options: The FDA has approved several vaccines for use in the U. S., and more are in development.
If you are 18 years of age or older and have completed your primary vaccination with the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine (J&J) at least two months ago, you can receive a first booster dose of any of the currently available COVID-19 vaccines. Visit the CDC website to find out which health departments are responsible for distributing the vaccine in your area. Be Careful with Disinfectants: Chemicals used in sanitation tunnels can irritate skin, eyes, or respiratory tract and cause other health problems. Surface disinfectants or sprays should not be used on humans or animals. They are designed for use on hard, non-porous surfaces (materials that don't absorb liquids easily).
Be Cautious with Hand Sanitizer: Swallowing or drinking hand sanitizer with 1-propanol can cause a decrease in heart and respiratory rates, among other serious symptoms, and can result in death. Hand sanitizer contaminated with 1-propanol may also irritate skin (or eyes, if exposed). Learn more about the toxicities of methanol and 1-propanol. Be Aware of Drug Shortages: The FDA is monitoring supply and demand to assess the availability of respirators as centers move away from crisis and contingency capacity strategies. If you need medications, make sure you get them before going to the store.
The FDA also encourages manufacturers and healthcare facilities to contact them if they become aware of potential outages or shortages. Quit Smoking: There's never been a better time to quit smoking. If you need resources to help you quit smoking, the FDA has supportive tips and tools to help you get closer to quitting smoking for good. By following these tips, you can help keep yourself and others safe when you go to the grocery store during the pandemic. For more information on how to protect yourself from coronavirus fraud, drug shortages, and other measures related to COVID-19, visit the FDA's website.