Expert presents measures that can fight COVID-19 contagion in supermarkets

APAS Webinar counted on the participation of the infectious diseases and risk management expert, Vera Borrasca

As the knowledge about the Coronavirus evolves, health recommendations change, confusing consumers as well as managers and associates. For that reason, the Associação Paulista de Supermercados (APAS), broadcasted in April 8 the webinar “Coronavirus and store operation”, featuring Vera Borrasca, infectious diseases expert and APAS’s district and regional directors. 

The webinar’s goal was to cover the main points of attention regarding the store operation to avoid the new coronavirus contagion. According to the expert, the virus can infect people in supermarkets by direct contact or on plastic and metal surfaces, where the virus can survive up to three days.

Thus, according to Vera, one of the prevention measures in stores should be based on the transmission risk between people. “Controlling the flow of people is guaranteeing distancing between people and, in addition to the physical barriers in the checkout, we need to think about the other areas of the store”, said Vera Borrasca, during the webinar. 

Surfaces and masks

In addition to washing hands, which is the best hygiene measure, cleaning surfaces should be on focus as well as paying extra attention to the areas of personal contact. “Door knobs, electronic devices’ control, ATM’s as well as shopping carts and baskets. The cart’s handle must be sanitized with alcohol 70% or bleach”, the expert explained.

APAS’s members also questioned about the life span of masks, and according to Vera, the recommendation in the health area has always being of up to two hours of use for each mask. “If everyone uses it, it will be more efficient, remembering that the mask restricts the virus that comes out of the person and not the virus that comes from the environment”, she said.

The average frequency of sanitizing counters of the meat, bakery and produce sections should occur according to the understanding of the risk in each store section. It is up to the managers to have the perception of where the frequency of cleaning in the supermarket should increase. “Understanding the risk is crucial. In low risk areas, it is recommended three times a day. However, on checkout counters and belts, the ideal would be sanitizing after each customer” the infectious diseases expert pointed out.