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Tips for Carrying Out Essential Activities Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 seems to have made the world stand still. But, even as we all hunker down inside our homes to help slow the spread of the virus, there are some essentials that simply cannot be put on pause.

Staying safe while meeting basic household and health needs—such as buying food and medicine and seeing the doctor—can be challenging. Health experts and the Centers for Disease Control offer the following tips for carrying on with life during these unprecedented times.   

Grocery shopping

  • Opt for curbside pickup or delivery when possible.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others in the aisle and checkout lines.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face covering.
  • Disinfect the shopping cart with wipes (bring your own, if necessary).
  • If possible, pay without touching money, a card, or a keypad; if that isn’t possible, use hand sanitizer right after paying.
  • If you are at higher risk for severe illness (65 or older and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions) find out if the store has special hours for you.
  • Use hand sanitizer when you leave the store; wash your hands when you get home.
  • Shop on “off” hours when the store is less crowded.
  • Do not go to a store if you are sick.

Deliveries and mail

  • Pay online or on the phone when you order goods or food for delivery.
  • Accept deliveries without in-person contact whenever possible; ask for deliveries to be left in a safe spot outside your house.
  • If contact is necessary, keep a distance of at least 6 feet.
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after accepting deliveries or collecting mail.


  • Bank online whenever possible.
  • Use the drive-through ATM; clean the ATM keyboard with a disinfecting wipe before you use it (and afterward for the safety of the next user).
  • After the transaction, use a hand sanitizer, then wash your hands with soap and water when you get home.

Medical appointments

  • Talk to your doctor online, by phone, or e-mail.
  • Use telemedicine, if available. JeffConnect® offers a variety of video services, including on-demand and scheduled visits.
  • Consider rescheduling procedures that are not urgently needed.
  • If you must visit in-person, protect yourself and others by wearing a mask and using hand sanitizer after touching door knobs and other surfaces.
  • Use disinfecting wipes on frequently touched surfaces if available.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others in the waiting room.
  • If you believe you or a loved one has COVID-19, call your doctor for instructions; notify the emergency transport so they can protect themselves.


  • Limit visits to the pharmacy by using drive-thru windows, curbside services, mail-order, or delivery services.
  • Plan to order and pick up all your prescriptions at the same time.
  • If possible, have prescriptions called in ahead of time.
  • Check to see if you can get a larger supply of your medicines so you do not have to visit the pharmacy as often.