Local medical professional explains how to stop cross-contamination while wearing gloves
In the grocery store, folks have more than their shopping list.
Now, a mask and gloves are just as common as a shopping cart.
These are good safety precautions, but it’s all too easy to cross-contaminate your food and personal items.
Protecting yourself while grocery shopping or running errands is perfectly normal. However, the germs on your gloves can be easily transferred.
“I wear gloves and a mask to protect myself from others,” said shopper Meredith Andrews.
Andrews, like many others, has a plan to keep germs away while shopping.
“I roll the gloves off and put them in an old Walmart bag, so I don’t contaminate the stuff in my car as much as possible. I left my purse, my phone, all I took in was my keys and debit card,” said Andrews.
She explained she tries to use this routine each time she’s out in town. But sometimes it can be easy to forget those safe practices.
“I didn’t change them, but as I walked back to my car I said ‘I do touch my door handle, do I take them off now or not, when do I get the wipes. I think I’ll take them off and then wipe off the door handles really quick,” said Andrews.
Courtney Nickels is a Nurse Practitioner for State Urgent Care in Starkville. She said glove use, removal, and disposal is a growing issue.
“They’re putting them on, they’re going grocery shopping touching everything in the store. They’ll check their phone to see if they have any messages or phone calls. Then they’re getting back in their cars and touching everything they had in their cart,” said Nickels.
Nickels said that’s when you’re at a higher risk of contacting COVID-19.
“It spreads like wildfire. It’s like putting gas on a fire. If you have a pair of gloves on you want to make sure you are careful not to go underneath them with a dirty hand. So you’ll grab them like this to remove one and then go underneath with a clean finger to remove the other,” said Nickels.
After you take gloves or a mask off, throw it away in the trash can and not in the parking lot.
“You gotta think about everybody, not just yourself and your family. It’s important to think about yourself and your community and what you might be doing if you’re not trashing stuff that might be contaminated,” said Andrews.
Everyone is encouraged to follow the guidelines and change their gloves as often as possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19.