We are cooking at home more than ever before because of COVID-19, and grocery shopping has become one of the few essential errands we leave the house for. One question that keeps coming up is – should you wear gloves at the grocery store? The short answer is no. You do not need any kind of gloves at the grocery store.
Gloves will not protect you. If you touch a contaminated surface, the virus can transfer to your glove just like it could transfer to your fingers, so there is no added protection from the gloves. If you touch your mouth or nose with the glove, you can pass the virus to yourself. And taking the gloves off after shopping is an especially vulnerable moment, as you can easily transfer any germs on the gloves to your hands and face if you are not careful.
The reality is you are much more likely to catch the coronavirus from the respiratory droplets of a person talking or sneezing near you rather than from an item you touch at the store – that is why physical distancing is so important. To protect yourself at the grocery store, wear a cloth face mask and keep a minimum 6-foot distance from others. Plan your grocery trip so you can get in an out quickly during quiet times to minimise contact with others.
Gloves do not replace hand hygiene. Given that gloves do not protect you from the virus, wearing gloves does not save you time from hand washing. You still have to keep up with hand hygiene. That is the most important way to remove the virus from your hands. When you get home, wash your hands well with soap and water for 20 seconds.