Safety Protocols

When an assistance request is made, the caller is most likely immunocompromised or elderly, so please take extra precaution. We need to take every safety measurement possible to help contain the virus. Please follow the precautionary guidelines, and the standards below apply to interacting with or pickups or deliveries to our-at-risk neighbors.

Before you volunteer to pick up and deliver anything, please make sure you:

  • Are not showing ANY type of respiratory-illness symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, runny nose, sore throat) and have not been in contact with ANYONE with any type of respiratory-illness symptoms
  • Are not in a high risk occupation (think healthcare or public transportation, including Uber and Lyft) or residing with someone with a high-risk occupation
  • Have not have been in contact with any known or suspected infectious individuals

Proper Handling of Items:

Assume you're infected! To help ensure the safety for yourself and others, please handle all items as you already have the virus.

  • Minimize handling as much as possible & use freshly sanitized hands.
  • Keep hands/packages away from your person.
  • Do not cough or sneeze on or around your deliveries.
  • Keep deliveries off high-touch surfaces.
  • Protect yourself by avoiding touching surfaces/door handles/doorbells/credit card keypads or immediately washing or sanitizing hands afterward.

Safe Delivery:

  • Prior to picking up the products, use hand sanitizer
  • Call the recipient and let him or her know you are coming.
  • Place the package outside the door without ringing the doorbell.
  • Take a 6-foot distance from the door.
  • Contact the recipient by phone to let them know you’ve arrived with their delivery.
  • Wait for them to retrieve their delivery before leaving.* [*See below regarding Delivering Inside and When Payment is Required]
  • Remind the recipient to 1) wash down their groceries (fruits, vegetables included) and non-porous containers with soap and water 2) discard or set aside bags for at least 24 hours, and 3) wash hands immediately after unpacking groceries.
  • Take a moment to connect. Isolation is hard on people. Yours may be the only face your recipient will see today and beyond. Keep your distance but take a moment to check in, engage in conversation, and create a bit of comforting normalcy. The good feelings will go both ways!
  • Let the dispatcher (whoever assigned you the task) know that the task is completed or, if only partially complete (due to out-of-stock products/whatever) what is outstanding.

For Delivering Inside

There may be circumstances where inside delivery is necessary. For example, to an elderly or handicapped person who cannot navigate carrying bags upstairs. In such cases, use all the regular recommended Safe Delivery practices above AND in addition:

  • Use hand sanitizer (if available, a mask is recommended when delivering to elderly or at-risk clients for their safety and peace of mind)
  • DO NOT touch anything inside the home
  • Maintain social distancing as best as possible
  • Enter and exit the home as quickly and carefully as possible

For Medication Pickups

Many people who get regular prescriptions will have their credit card on file at the pharmacy. In such cases, usually all you need to do is give the pharmacist their name and phone number, and tell them to use the card on file to pay for it.

  • To pick up the prescription, you will need full name and phone number (possibly address)
  • Coordinate delivery with the recipient; he or she needs to be home to receive it

For Grocery Pickup

It is understood that not all items will be in stock at this time. Get what you can from the order and let the dispatcher know what remains unfulfilled.

When Payment is Required

If retrieving items from a store or other retail outlet, you will need to pay for the item at the time. Please discuss and arrange reimbursement with the recipient prior to pickup. Here are options:

  • Paypal, Venmo (easiest but least used by older community)
  • Cash (currency can carry the virus; if you are doing a cash exchange, please have the recipient put cash into an envelope and leave it for you just before your arrival so you can avoid touching it for a day or so).
  • Check -- It’s up to you whether you’re comfortable receiving a check. If you are, similarly ask the recipient to leave it outside for you so you don’t have to exchange anything face to face.

Note About Gloves and Masks

Precautions and sanitized hands (don’t touch your face!) are the most reliable protection for you and those you deliver to.

While gloves and masks provide an extra layer of distance, they are also essential medical equipment for hospital staff that is in woefully short supply. If you have new gloves or masks, please consider donating them to a local medical facility.

Created By
Cole Valley Cares


Created with an image by Chris Lawton - "untitled image"