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How can I get groceries?

As the coronavirus spreads throughout America, it may seem like many of the shelves in your local grocery market or big-box store are quite bare.

It’s reassuring to know the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that there are no nationwide shortages of food, although in some cases the inventory of certain foods at your grocery store might be temporarily low before stores can restock.

Supporting our stores

You should have enough basic household products and groceries on hand, so you are prepared to stay at home for an extended period of time.

Store owners and managers are working overtime to supply people with the groceries and products they want. You may have noticed that many stores have been closing earlier, this is so employees can spend more time disinfecting shelves, carts, and equipment and restocking shelves before customers arrive the early the next day. Some stores are offering vulnerable patrons – those who are over age 60 and/or with underlying medical conditions – to shop at special hours to lessen their potential exposure to people who may have COVID-19 but are asymptomatic.

Ordering groceries

Most major grocery chains have made it possible to order groceries online and have them delivered to your door within hours or days. Check the websites of local or national grocery stores that may allow you to select your items online and then arrange for home delivery or curbside pickup. You can also order groceries and other items for a number of online delivery services including Instacart, Shipt, and Peapod.

Keep in mind, however, that many of these services are experiencing delays due to the high volume of people choosing the safety of online ordering rather than in-person shopping. This means you will need to plan ahead.

If you have questions or concerns about the delivery timeline, speak to a customer service representative.

How can I get my medications?

Ask your physician or local pharmacy if ordering your medicines online is an option. Many online pharmacies (including national chains) will fill valid prescriptions and ship them directly to your door allowing you to avoid going to the pharmacy in person.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is working with private plans to waive prescription drug refill limits and to relax restrictions on home or mail delivery of prescription drugs. However, you should only order from a reputable online pharmacy.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns consumers about rogue online pharmacies that claim to sell prescription medicines at deeply discounted prices.

If you have questions, call your healthcare professional. Also, be sure you have over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies (fever reducers, tissues, hydrating beverages, etc.) to treat fever and other symptoms.