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‘This is about life or death’: Grocery union asks customers to take extra precautions during COVID-19 pandemic

Customers asked to check temperature, wear PPE

DETROIT – United Commercial Food Workers President Marc Perrone said 30 union members across the country have died from coronavirus (COVID-19) as of Monday.

Four of those workers were from Michigan Kroger stores.

READ: 4 employees at Metro Detroit Kroger stores die from COVID-19

Perrone is asking customers to take extra precautions when they go shopping, including taking their temperature before leaving their home, wearing a mask and gloves, following social distancing inside stores and properly disposing of their masks and gloves when they are finished using them.

MORE: How to safely remove and dispose of rubber gloves

“For the public to change its behavior, this is not union versus non-union, nor is it about politics or party,” Perrone said. “This is about life or death. Workers are being exposed and they are dying.”

The union is also asking the White House COVID-19 task force for personal protection equipment. Many stores have been trying to get it for their workers.

How COVID-19 Spreads

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • Spread is possible before people show symptoms. People who are not showing symptoms can still be carrying the virus and can still pass it on to other people.

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily the virus spreads

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

Prevention & Treatment

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

Click here for more guidelines from the CDC.

People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

Question about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge here.

Read more about coronavirus here.


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