The No. 1 Worst Thing You Can Do When Retail Stores Reopen

Before you run to the shops, avoid putting yourself at risk by not making this one simple mistake.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made shuttered storefronts an all too common sight across the country as shelter in place orders have kept many businesses closed for months. But with case numbers going down in many states, some are beginning to ease back into life as we knew it with phased re-openings rolling out from coast to coast. This includes California, where the Department of Public Health announced the state-wide reopening of in-store retail shopping, pending approval by county public health departments. But just because your favorite shops are unlocking their doors for the first time in months that doesn't mean you aren't putting yourself in danger by rushing out to visit them—especially if you're making the mistake of shopping during peak hours.

Besides wearing your face mask and always remembering to wash or sanitize your hands, one of the best ways to keep yourself safe is to avoid shopping during primetime hours. Why? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends planning your visits for earlier in the morning or later in the day. This will make it easier to avoid the larger crowds of shoppers that make social distancing guidelines much harder to follow. As person-to-person contact remains the primary risk factor in spreading and contracting COVID-19, taking the time to set your shopping schedule is a great way to minimize your risk of exposure.

Not exactly an early riser or a night owl? Even if your schedule doesn't allow for first-thing-in-the-morning or late-in-the-day shopping trips, you can still reduce your risk by planning to visit as few stores as possible on each outing.

And according to the CDC, avoid contact with commonly touched surfaces such as keypads and touchscreens by using contactless payment options whenever possible. No one wants to touch cash right now, anyway! And for more things to prepare for as stores reopen, check out the 10 Things You'll Never See in Malls Again After Coronavirus.

Best Life is constantly monitoring the latest news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed. Here are the answers to your most burning questions, the ways you can stay safe and healthy, the facts you need to know, the risks you should avoid, the myths you need to ignore,and the symptoms to be aware of. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.
Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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