What Food and Grocery Pick-up and Delivery Drivers Need to Know about COVID-19
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2. Symptoms often include cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell. Our understanding of how the virus spreads is evolving as we learn more about it, so check the CDC website for the latest information. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person:
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet)
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks
Recent studies indicate that the virus can be spread by people who are not showing symptoms. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about this virus. Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19.
As a food and grocery pick-up and delivery driver (like Uber Eats, Grubhub, DoorDash, Postmates, Instacart), how can I protect myself and others?
Potential sources of exposure include having close contact with individuals with COVID-19 when picking up or delivering food or groceries, or by touching surfaces touched or handled by a person with COVID-19.
Stay home if you are sick
- If you develop a fever or symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice before visiting their office.
- You should not return to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met, after talking with your doctor.
Wear a cloth face covering
- CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, especially in areas where a lot of people are infected.
- Cloth face coverings may prevent people who don’t know they have the virus from transmitting it to others.
- These face coverings are not surgical masks or respirators and are not appropriate substitutes for them in workplaces where masks or respirators are recommended or required.
- Avoid close contact with individuals as much as possible when picking up food, groceries, or other items at restaurants or grocery stores. This helps protect both you and the workers at the restaurants or grocery stores bringing the items to you.
- Practice contactless deliveries to the greatest extent possible. Contactless deliveries allow you to leave a delivery at a doorstep, move back to a distance greater than 6 feet away while verifying receipt of the delivery with the person getting the delivery, and try to do all interactions electronically (e.g., in an app or over a phone). This eliminates the need for close contact between you and the person getting the delivery.
- Limit your contact with frequently touched surfaces during pickups and deliveries, such as countertops, elevator buttons, doorbells, door handles, radio buttons, etc.
- Avoid sharing scanners, pens, or other tools with customers.
- Use a foot, shoulder, elbow, hip, or forearm instead of hands when opening doors at pick-up and delivery sites, if possible.
Practice Everyday Preventive Actions
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Proper hand hygiene is an important infection control measure. Keep in mind where you can access and use facilities with soap and water during your shift. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
- Key times to clean hands include:
- Before, during, and after preparing food
- Before eating food
- After using the toilet
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- Additional times to clean hands on the job include:
- Before and after work shifts
- Before and after work breaks
- Before and after making a delivery
- After putting on, touching, or removing cloth face coverings
- After touching frequently touched surfaces such as doorbells or door handles
- Before wearing and after removing cold-weather gloves
- Before and after pumping gas
- Carry tissues in your vehicle and use them when you cough, sneeze or touch your face. Throw used tissues in the trash.
Clean and Disinfect
- Get and carry cleaning and disinfectant spray or disposable wipes and a trash bag with you in your vehicle.
- Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces at the beginning and end of each shift, particularly if the vehicle is also used by other drivers, following the directions on the cleaning product’s label. Clean surfaces that are visibly dirty with detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. Frequently touched surfaces include the steering wheel, gearshift, signaling levers, door handles, and seatbelt buckles.
- Wipe down items such as pens and electronic signature pads/mobile devices if shared with a delivery recipient after each use.
- Appropriate disinfectants to use for hard non-porous surfaces include:
- EPA’s Registered Antimicrobial Products for Use Against Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2external icon
- Diluted household bleach solutions prepared according to the manufacturer’s label for disinfection, if appropriate for the surface
- Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol
What steps should the food or grocery delivery company take for whom I am a driver?
The food or grocery delivery company for whom you are a contract driver should develop and share a set of COVID-19 health and safety measures to inform and help protect delivery drivers. They should:
- Actively encourage sick delivery drivers to stay home.
- Encourage the use of and assist you in obtaining hand sanitizer and disposable wipes and other cleaning products so that frequently touched surfaces can be wiped down by drivers.
- Provide you with information on where to find accurate information about COVID-19 and how it spreads.
- Develop policies and technology options that allow and prioritize contactless deliveries (e.g., no-knock, no-signature, all electronic credit card transactions, etc.) that limit or eliminate close contact between delivery drivers and suppliers and purchasers.
Where can I get more information?
Stay informed. Review health and safety measures taken by your delivery service company about COVID-19. See these sources for more information on worker exposures to COVID-19:
- CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) website
- NIOSH Workplace Safety and Health Topic website
- CDC COVID-19 website
- OSHA COVID-19 websiteexternal icon
- FDA Best Practices for Retail Food Stores, Restaurants, and Food Pick-Up/Delivery Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic websiteexternal icon
- CDCINFO: 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) | TTY: 1-888-232-6348 | website