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Reusable Shopping Bags in the Coronavirus Era

March 24, 2020

NOTE: This guidance has been revised on April 3, 2020, to reflect changes in the Alameda County Health Department's updated shelter-in-place order. Please click here for more information.

We understand that during this time people are focused on their health and well-being, and we believe that the use of reusable bags are compatible with those concerns. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, coronavirus is spread primarily through the respiratory system through person-to-person droplet infection (e.g. coughing and sneezing).
Although the primary means of spreading coronavirus does not come from surface contact, bacteria and viruses can live on most surfaces, whether they be paper, plastic, or reusable bags. Cloth reusable bags can be disinfected following CDC guidelines of washing them in a washing machine after each use.
In addition to following CDC guidelines we encourage grocery shoppers to minimize surface-to-surface contact from hands, purses, wallets, and bags of any kind. Bringing your own bag and bagging your own groceries minimizes the number of times someone other than you touches your groceries and bag. Whichever bag you choose at the grocery store, use common sense, launder or disinfect reusable bags frequently, and wash your hands after your groceries have been put away. 
Links to the Centers for Disease Control and California Dept. of Public Health