As concerned members of the community, we are aware of the potential for a surge of grocery shopping activity with the conclusion of the Pesach holiday and in preparation for the following Shabbos and weeks ahead.
In order to help protect your health and prevent the further spread of COVID-19 within our community, we would like to highlight the following recommendations which specifically relate to this time period:
- Following the conclusion of Pesach, please only purchase the items that you will require for the following Shabbos in order to minimize excess lineups and over-crowding.
- We strongly recommend that shopping activities should be limited to 5-10 minutes. Please ensure that you plan your shopping in advance accordingly.
- Shopping should only be conducted by one adult (over 16 years of age) member per family. Please note that under no circumstances should children be allowed to enter any store.
- Please ensure that you handle only the items you will be purchasing in order to minimize potential contamination. Stores will attempt to either pre-bag items such as bakery goods or fresh produce or have an employee allocate these items to customers wherever possible.
In addition, the following recommendations remain in place for all shopping activities:
- Stores continue to work towards maximizing access for the community to online, phone, in-car, and delivery options, particularly now in the weeks following Pesach. It is strongly preferred that customers use these methods and avoid in-person shopping, if possible.
- Please DO NOT ENTER any retail or grocery store if you:
- Have returned from travel from any destination in the past 14 days
- Have had close contact with a COVID-19 patient in the past 14 days
- Are experiencing, or have experienced in the past 48 hours, any of the following symptoms: Fever, cough, muscle aches and tiredness, difficulty breathing, sore throat, headache or diarrhea.
- If you are over the age of 65 or have a chronic medical condition, physical disability or a weakened immune system (due to medical or health condition), we strongly recommend that you use the phone/online purchasing options where possible.
- Stores will attempt to provide dedicated shopping hours during low volume periods when store sterility can be more readily assured. If in-store shopping is absolutely required, we urge you to shop during that time to protect your health.
- There are additional community resources available to assist any individuals with errands which will further limit the contact of high-risk groups to the COVID-19 virus. Please contact Zeh Lozeh – Coronavirus Chesed Helpline at (647)793-7700.
- For those who must shop in person:
- At all times, social/physical distancing at a minimum of 6 feet/2 meters must be followed from other customers and store staff – this includes inside the store, cashier lineups and any waiting lines outside the store.
- We strongly advise that customers wear masks at all times while in the store.
- All customers must sanitize or wash their hands upon entry to the store.
- Please do not touch your hair or face while in the store.
- Use of cell phones or other handheld electronic devices will not be permitted in the store for any purpose (phone, text etc.). If required in true emergency situations, please exit the store to use the device and re-sanitize your hands-on re-entry.
- Please note that it is strongly recommended that only credit / debit payment should be used at this time in order to further minimize virus exposure.
Dr. Chaim Bell
Dr. Ari Greenwald
Dr. Barry Pakes
|Task Force Committee:
Dr. Nesya Jacob
Dr. Avi Orner
Dr. Ron Phillipson
Dr. Jeffery Rothenstein
Dr. Moshe Weinstock
This guideline is also endorsed by the broader Kol HaCOVID medical community
These guidelines align with best practices available at this time and will reduce, but not entirely eliminate, the risk of COVID-19 in store employees, customers and the community at large. Please also refer to the updated Toronto Public Health website at www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19 for further resources and additional information.
Effective Date: April 14, 2020.