Volunteer are helping others in greater need but need to be vigilant about their own safety and to follow Government guidelines to prevent spreading the Coronavirus.
Recognising that gloves are a key way to protect volunteers then a quantity have been purchased (delivery estimate Mar 31) and will be freely available. These should be worn to protect volunteer and isolator from cross contamination from items the volunteer touches while shopping etc. Items will include
Most shops provide sanitising material to wipe basket / trolleys. Gloves can be used to take items from shelves. Cash should be avoided wherever possible (but see below).
In line with Government guidelines volunteers should keep 2 metres away from other people – isolators, inside the shop especially at tills.
The best online advice we’ve seen (24/3/20) is here On-line Advice
We don’t have totally safe system yet so are trying to get payment by card, online or on account. However elderly isolators sometimes only trust cash. It is unclear how long the virus can live on coins or notes – 12 hours and 72 hours have been mentioned in the press. The virus could be present in the isolator’s home or in the shop and we are looking to prevent cross contamination between isolator, volunteer and shop. In this case the best we have found is :
Payment by phone
We have had instances where the person at the shop till has asked the volunteer to call the isolator for payment on the volunteer phone. The till person then uses the phone for payment details. We feel this is too risky and so either:
Please let us know if you have any comment or suggestions