Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an illness caused by a novel coronavirus that is now referred to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2; formerly called 2019-nCoV). This disease was first identified in the middle of an outbreak of respiratory illness cases in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. Its symptoms include cough, fever, muscle pain, sore throat, shortness of breath, chills, loss of state or smell.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the virus is viewed to spread primarily from person-to-person. First, it can be transferred between people who are in close contact with one another (within 6 feet). Secondly, it can be spread through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person sneezes, coughs, or talks. However, current research suggests that it can also be spread by people who are not showing symptoms known to be ‘asymptomatic’. Also, it may be possible for a person to contract COVID-19 by coming in contact with a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or their eyes.
With that, we’ve already seen a number of more drivers on the road delivering groceries, parcels, and takeaways. If you’re a food, grocery, or a delivery driver, how can you protect yourself and customers?
Don’t go to work if you are sick
This is pretty obvious. Just stay at home if you are sick. If you think you have fever or symptoms, including cough or shortness of breath, immediately call your healthcare provider for medical advice prior to visiting their office. Understand that you must not return to work until the basis to discontinue home isolation are met, afterwards talking with your doctor.
Follow basic hygiene measures
It’s important as a delivery driver to be considerate of others also and observe basic hygiene measures such as being aware of:
- sneezing or coughing using your elbow or covering your mouth and nose with tissues
- throw used tissues in the bin or bag immediately
- clean your hands with soap and water often (try to sing a happy birthday song) and dry them
- opt for alcohol-based hand sanitizers if you are not able to wash your hands
- not making contact with people who are ill
Although there are jobs that don’t require the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), it’s important to remember that PPE is not an alternate for regular hand washing and proper cough and sneeze etiquette.
Wear a mask or cloth face covering
- We recommend wearing cloth face coverings in public where other social distancing measures are hard to maintain, particularly in areas where a lot of people are suspected with the coronavirus. Wearing them may prevent you from getting the virus and transmitting it to the others.
- Make it a habit to do contactless deliveries to a serious extent possible. A lot of delivery companies are practising and implementing contactless deliveries and allow their drivers to leave the item at doorstep, and moving back to a distance greater than 6 feet away
- As a delivery driver, it’s important to avoid close contact as much as possible with individuals when picking up groceries, food, or any items at restaurants or grocery stores then delivering them to your customer. Doing this will protect yourself, workers at the stores, and the customer who will receive the item.
- Avoid touching too many surfaces during pickups and deliveries, including door handles, doorbells, elevator buttons, and countertops.
- Instead of opening doors with your hands, use your foot, shoulder, elbow, forearm, or hips when picking or delivering items.
Doing Habitual Preventive Actions
- Practice not touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Develop proper hand hygiene. Identify where you can get access and use facilities with soap and water during your shift. If possible, always wash your hands daily with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
- Bring tissues or wipes in your vehicles and use them when you cough, sneeze or touch your face. Always throw the tissue in the trash.