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How to run errands during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Dusty Lane
by Dusty Lane03/19/2020 12:24 p.m.
Updated: 03/19/2020

Stay safe when you run errands or exercise.

Social distancing is vital right now as we work to slow the spread of COVID-19. Gov. Inslee’s orders protect your family, as well as people in high-risk groups who are vulnerable to developing severe symptoms.  

You should stay home and avoid people other than your immediate family as much as possible. And if you need to run errands, you should take steps to avoid infection.  

Make a plan (and stick to it). 

Think ahead so your family can minimize trips outside your home. Make a list of things you need and which stores sell those items. 

Wait as long as you can to leave and then send one person to as few stores as possible. When you’re in a store: 

  • Finish your shopping quickly.  
  • Stick to your list and avoid window shopping.  
  • If you see a friend, don’t stop for a chat. 

The do’s and don’ts of shopping. 

How do I social distance when running errands?Continue to observe social distancing while you shop. Avoid gathering in groups near others. Only touch items you intend to buy, and avoid putting items back on the shelf after touching them.  

Don't try on clothes at retail stores. Keep people at least the distance of a shopping cart away while you wait in line.  

Be a good neighbor to high-risk people. 

People over 60 and those with underlying medical conditions are more likely to get sick.  

Offer to shop for someone if you know they’re at a greater risk. Reach out to family, friends and neighbors to see if they need your help.  

Staying safe at grocery and retail stores.

Every business should take extra steps to disinfect surfaces and enforce social distancing. 

Speak up if a business is not following proper practices. Talk to a store manager or employee.  

We all share responsibility for the safety and health of our communities.  

Skip the trip. Stay home if you can. 

You can help slow the spread of COVID-19. by limiting your in-person contact with others. Again, stay home as much as possible.  

Call your friends instead of visiting them. Go for a run or walk around your block instead of going to your weekly pick-up basketball game. If you do have to leave, use proper social distancing and practice proper hygiene: 

  • Wash your hands often. 
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow.  
  • Don’t shake hands or hug people.  

Check for our latest guidance and updates. You can also subscribe to the Your Reliable Source blog.

Dusty Lane

by Dusty Lane

Dusty helps us tell stories on our website and social media.


We invite your comments but will delete those with profanity, personal attacks, derogatory statements, ads or promotional material. Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department does not provide personal medical advice; please contact your health care provider.