SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Black Friday is upon us, and it’s a time for big savings but also big crowds.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, going shopping in crowded stores just before, on or after Thanksgiving is a higher risk activity that people should avoid to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
ABC10 health expert Dr. Payal Kohli also does not recommend participating in Black Friday during the pandemic. She stressed the importance of finding alternatives to shopping in busy stores this holiday.
"If you can, please try to do online shopping this year. That’s what I’m doing; I’m going to try to avoid the stores," Dr. Kohli said. "As it is, it’s a bit of a hassle to go to the stores, but this year in particular, online is the safest thing to do especially if you’re considered high risk."
But if people must shop in stores this Black Friday, she suggested some precautions for people to consider.
Make a list, so you can get in and get out of a store quickly. Dr. Kohli said the last thing you want to do is loiter in a busy store.
"Spend some time doing homework so you can be prepared," she said.
She said to be aware of what you’re touching and to treat any surface you touch as if it’s contaminated.
"Immediately sanitize your hands right after, (and) be mindful about touching your face as well," Dr. Kohli said.
She also said to be mindful of your distance from other people- per the usual, staying at least six feet away is your best bet.
And of course, common courtesy and treating store workers with respect and dignity is always a wonderful practice during the holidays. This year that happens to include wearing a mask.
"Don’t make them ask you. Don’t be confrontational. I know it’s uncomfortable. I know it’s inconvenient, but really just do it as a gesture of good will," she said.
Dr. Kohli also suggested checking out store guidelines before heading out. They can let you know if there is a customer limit and if the store is cleaning regularly. Most stores have the procedures and precautions they're taking on their websites.