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DENVER (KDVR) — It’s an errand that has become both stressful and vital for Coloradans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you plan on heading to the grocery store, there are some precautions you can take to stay safe and healthy.

Dr. Ben Usatch, who is the ER Medical Director at UCHealth Highlands Ranch Hospital, says the safety needs to start before you even walk through the door.

“I wash my hands or use some type of disinfectant before I get out of the car. Instead of using a basket, I have some cloth bags that I use routinely for my shopping.”

Dr. Usatch says if you do use a basket or cart, wipe it down immediately. He tells FOX31 not to be afraid to frequently disinfect items in the store before you touch them, or use hand sanitizer during your shopping trip.

“This is no such thing as too much. This virus can live on surfaces, depending on the surface, for up to two days.”

Stores, like Safeway, King Soopers and Walgreens, have upped their safety measures, putting tape 6 feet apart to encourage people to follow social distancing while waiting in line.

Additionally, King Soopers and Safeway have started installing partitions at many of the cash registers.

There are still plenty of precautions you can take before you even get to that checkout line.

“We have some control over our spacing, when we’re walking through the market. But certainly the lines, having them clearly designated with the blue tape on the ground, helps us a lot,” said Usatch.

However, the majority of your time spent in the store will be going through the aisles, where Usatch says it will be up to you to use your best judgement.

“If indeed you do have three or four people in a lane, I would leave that for shopping a little bit later. Go do some other things, and then come back.”

He says bring a disposable paper grocery list with you, versus a cell phone list. And if possible, leave the rest of the family at home.

“It’s just good safe practice if we do any of these voyages by ourselves. It’s going to limit the spread of the virus, limit contact with each other.”

Once you get home, it’s not necessary to wipe down all of your groceries, but Ustach recommends wiping down some of them.

“I have EZ wipes that I’ll wipe down my hands. When I go home and take in the groceries, I will wash down my produce. I think that’s good practice anyway. And then I move on with my day.”