Grocery stores are an essential service that provide safe and reliable access to food and supplies. However, Banff’s grocery stores (IGA and Nester’s Food Market) are also among the highest risk locations for the spread of the coronavirus. Banff’s Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC) calls on all residents to follow key directions to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Banff.
“The grocery stores in Banff are continuing to elevate rigorous measures to ensure a clean and safe environment for everyone accessing this essential service,” said Silvio Adamo, Director of Emergency Management for the Town of Banff. “We expect all customers to take the precautions very seriously and follow extra measures to slow the spread in our community.”
For grocery stores to operate safely, the ECC requires all customers to strictly follow all protocols:
- Do not enter stores if you have symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, sore throat, runny nose or fever
- Follow all in-store directives
- Maintain a two-metre/six-foot distance between individuals
- Do not touch items you are not buying
- Only one person per household per visit to the grocery store
- Plan your visit accordingly so you are not shopping every day – limit your risk of exposure
- Bag your own groceries (reusable bags from home may be prohibited)
Despite increased sanitation measures at grocery stores, customers may be concerned about the virus surviving on products they purchase. Precautionary measures at home include:
- Wiping down boxes, packaging, cans, etc.
- Transferring products from store packaging to storage containers at home
- Washing fruits and vegetables under running water – cool or lukewarm is preferred
- Cleaning household surfaces touched by groceries or grocery bags
Personal hygiene, specifically frequent and thorough hand washing, remains the most effective way to protect yourself and others.
All individuals and businesses in Banff should sign up for emergency alerts from the Town of Banff, in the event broad-based communications is required.