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Okanagan families urged to only send one person shopping during COVID-19 pandemic

Families being urged to only have one member shop, if at all possible, to prevent spread of coronavirus.

As Okanagan retailers implement numerous measures to keep both store employees and customers safe amid the pandemic, shoppers are being asked to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

In particular, families are being asked not to shop together, if at all possible, and instead only have one person do the shopping.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: B.C. grocery stores must have hand sanitizer stations, enforce distancing

Global Okanagan has received a large number of complaints during the last two weeks from both consumers and store clerks that all too often, they are still seeing several members of one family shopping together.

“As a rule of thumb, it’s best if one person per household shops for groceries once a week,” said Greg Wilson, director for the Retail Council of Canada.

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B.C. health officials have also made that recommendation to decrease the number of people shopping, and help minimize the risk of the virus spreading.

READ MORE: Want groceries delivered? Options across Canada during the coronavirus outbreak

Wilson said, however, that there are exceptions to that rule of thumb: cases involving seniors, those with disabilities and single parents.

“The person with the senior may be helping the senior, or that person with two young children may not have any other option but to go with those two children,” he said.

Wilson said it’s important to keep that exception in mind, especially because there have been reports of people being publicly shamed for shopping together,

“That’s part of the reason to be kind and considerate of others,” he said. “The circumstances of others are not our circumstances.”

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To help drive that message home, the Retail Council of Canada launched a shopping etiquette video.

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The video, which can be viewed by clicking here, offers a number of tips to keep everyone safe.

One of those tips involves shopping alone.

As the video makes the rounds, retailers, both small and large, continue implementing measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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Retailer giant Walmart has installed arrows on its floors to help move foot traffic through its stores.

“We just found it a really good way of helping our customers get through the store in an orderly fashion while maintaining that social distance between each other,” said Ryan Catto, manager of the Kelowna Walmart.

Many retailers are also restricting the number of shoppers inside their stores, disinfecting shopping carts and baskets and not allowing the sale of self-serve bulk items.

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