Shelter-in-place orders are currently in effect in 41 states, and nonessential businesses have shut down, leading to a different lifestyle than most Americans are accustomed to. Many people continue to order food delivery and takeout because they want to support local businesses and their employees.


Even if authorities have not banned eating out in your jurisdiction, it’s smart to limit your time in contact with others and in public spaces. Avoid stepping into restaurant lobbies and opt for the drive-through, instead. Check if your favorite restaurant is allowing curbside pickup, where you don’t even have to leave your car. It’s not just restaurants, either. Even small stores are offering pickup services for the first time. All shoppers have to do is call ahead.


Delivery is still another option. Some restaurants that didn’t previously offer delivery use delivery as a way to keep their waitstaff on the payroll. There are also plenty of third-party services that offer delivery from local eateries and chains alike. GrubHub, DoorDash, EatStreat, and BiteSquad not only keep America fed but keep some people working when they wouldn’t otherwise be able to. Some of those businesses offer delivery deals to appeal to consumers.


Those people who are worried about the possible risk of transmitting COVID-19 through food delivery can opt for delivery from companies that offer contact-free delivery. Instead of exchanging goods and money, consumers can place an order online or over the phone without having to sign a receipt. These businesses ask that consumers leave a tip on their card, and the delivery driver will leave the item outside in a safe place such as on the porch, keeping both customers and deliverer safe from contamination. Buyers can leave specific instructions when placing their order.


After bringing food into their homes, consumers should dispose of packaging that another person has touched and wash their hands before eating. Some people have gone the extra step to transfer their food to their dishes rather than using those that came from the restaurant, too. However, the CDC has yet to report any evidence that COVID-19 can be transferred via food or its packaging.


Following practices to minimize the risk between people is the most important thing to do at this time unless research proves otherwise.