Editor’s Note: The Iredell Health Department provided the following guidance for holiday shopping.
Special to Iredell Free News
Black Friday deal shopping is already looking a little different than last year, due to the risk of COVID-19 transmission in crowded areas.
Typically, the idea is to “beat the crowds,” to purchase the doorbuster sale items. So this year we ask that you have fun shopping for those deals online, whenever possible, to prevent getting and spreading COVID-19.
Many retailers have adapted to COVID-19 by providing customers with alternative options such as contactless payment methods, variations of curbside pickup, and home delivery. Breaking the tradition this year of in-person shopping on Black Friday, may save a life and will certainly not hinder your ability to safely spread the joy of giving to your family and loved ones.
Before Entering a Retail Shopping Store:
♦ Check to see if the store offers online shopping or curbside pick-up.
♦ Consider going at off-times, when there are fewer people in the store, especially if you are high risk of COVID complications (e.g., people over 65 years of age or with underlying chronic conditions).
♦ Wear a cloth face mask and bring hand sanitizer with you to the store.
When You Are Out Shopping:
♦ Follow the Three W’s: Wear a face covering, Wait Six Feet from other people, and Wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer.
♦ Remember that all retail establishments in North Carolina are required to limit customer occupancy to no more than 50 percent and have all employees and customers properly wear face masks.
N.C. Department of Health and Human Services recommends shoppers:
♦ Use hand sanitizer before you enter the store and after you exit. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds when you return home.
♦ Have a list of items to buy to limit browsing and do not unnecessarily touch multiple items
♦ Shop only in stores that have implemented proper safety protocols. Examples include but are not limited to stores that Sanitize shopping carts between uses; use touchless payment methods; limit occupancy; have social-distancing reminders in-place; avoid shopping in stores that attract crowds and make social-distancing difficult; and avoid shopping with a non-household member
A person can carry the virus and not have symptoms or know he or she is infected.
If you have been recently diagnosed with COVID-19, have symptoms of COVID-19, or have been around a person with COVID-19, do not go shopping in-person until you complete your isolation or quarantine period.
Visit one of our Starmed Drive-Thru testing sites available Monday-Saturday at no cost to you, if you feel that you might have been exposed. The results are typically available within three to four days. To view upcoming testing options in Statesville and Mooresville, go to the Iredell County Health Department website.
Additional information related to COVID-19 can be found at the following resources:
♦ NCDHHS: www.ncdhhs.gov/covid19
♦ CDC: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
♦ Iredell County Health Department: https://nc-iredellcounty.civicplus.com/1383/Coronavirus-COVID-19