Does the new COVID strain mean you should stop going to the grocery store?

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A rendering of the coronavirus (Getty Images).

ST. LOUIS– There are rising concerns about new variants of the COVID-19 virus spreading across the United States. St. Louis County posted a VOX.com article over the weekend entitled, “Still going to the grocery store? With the new virus variants spreading, it’s probably time to stop.”

The article says health experts say you should avoid optional trips whenever you can.

The CDC says the British strain has been detected in at least 12 states and could be the most prevalent variant by March. That strain is also more contagious.

The article states if we want the pandemic to end as fast as possible, we need to pump the brakes right now. It also says people need to do what they’ve been doing all along to prevent infections, just much better.

The article says at an individual level, that means avoiding optional gatherings with other people, even grocery trips.

Tom Frieden, the former director of the CDC is quoted in the article saying,”Shopping for five minutes in the grocery store is a lot better — six times better — than shopping for 30 minutes.”

He says that is because the odds of becoming infected rise the longer you are exposed. He suggests picking up groceries curbside or even having them delivered.

The article also discusses the importance of not just wearing a mask, but a better mask. Frieden said a surgical mask is better than a cloth mask, a tight-fitting surgical mask is better than a loose-fitting mask, and an N95 is better than a surgical mask.

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