Since its arrival in March 2020, COVID-19 has changed everything, and we’re all still adjusting to “the new normal.” Staying inside and relying on deliveries to meet our basic needs is one of the most significant changes to our daily routine. People all over the world are using services like Amazon or UberEats to have their groceries delivered to their door.
The surge in demand for delivery drivers could be a fantastic opportunity for advancement, extra hours, and higher pay. However, this unprecedented increase in the delivery sector comes with its own set of difficulties, particularly for unprepared drivers.
One of the highest transmission risks for COVID-19 is when delivery drivers come into contact with quarantined individuals and packages from the outside world. A driver who does not practice good hygiene could unintentionally spread the virus to hundreds of isolated homes. Given the high stakes, all drivers must take precautions to protect themselves and others by following best health and safety practices during the pandemic.
Keeping Yourself Safe and Healthy
Personal health and hygiene are the most effective weapons in the fight against the novel coronavirus. The best way for drivers to protect themselves is to maintain good health through regular rest, hydration, and a well-balanced diet. As a result, it’s less likely that a driver will develop symptoms that could be mistaken for COVID and be forced to self-isolate rather than work. If they become ill, they can be more confident that it is the coronavirus and should be treated as such until they receive their test results.
Individuals can, however, be asymptomatic carriers of the disease, meaning that some drivers may be infectious despite having no symptoms. The best practice for drivers is to keep a close eye on their interactions with surfaces and other people in case they are infected. Including cleaning and preventative habits in drivers’ daily routines can have a significant impact on their ability to deliver packages safely.
Preventive Measures to take Every Day
Wearing a face mask and washing hands are the two most effective preventative measures.
When fighting COVID-19, the importance of face masks cannot be overstated. By physically blocking virus-tainted particles from entering or exiting your mouth and nose, face masks significantly reduce particle transmission.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that wearing two face masks instead of one can improve safety and slow transmission. Because delivery driving is a high-contact job, drivers should wear two face masks every day.
Pro Tip: If you’re going to wear two masks, make sure the inner one is disposable and the outer one is made of cloth. The disposable mask’s edges should be pressed against your face by the outer mask, creating a stronger seal.
One of the most important precautions since the beginning of the pandemic has been to wash hands frequently and thoroughly. Water and soap are powerful antimicrobials that render the coronavirus virtually powerless. When that isn’t an option, the best advice is to use alcohol-based sanitizers with a solution of at least 60% alcohol.
It is critical for delivery drivers to wash or sanitize frequently on the job. It is critical for drivers to clean their hands after touching doorknobs, car doors, doorbells, and packages. These high-contact areas are ripe for transmission, putting drivers and the people they serve in danger. Another best practice is for drivers to wash their hands before and after touching their masks, especially when eating, drinking, or smoking.
For all delivery drivers, latex gloves are a great and valuable solution. They can protect everyone from transmission by preventing direct contact with high-touch surfaces. If you decide to use latex gloves as a delivery driver, make sure you have several pairs on hand and change them out frequently. Wash or sanitize your hands between changes to ensure that no harmful bacteria are transferred to surfaces such as packages. Another advantage of wearing gloves is that they keep your hands from becoming too dry, which can occur as a result of increased hand washing.
Any driver should clean and maintain their delivery vehicle on a regular basis. Carry essentials like sanitising wipes and hand sanitizer with you all day to keep yourself and your vehicle clean and safe. Drivers who work for larger companies like USPS or Amazon can request free sanitising wipes for their vehicles from their bosses.
Limiting close contact with others is the best thing drivers can do to stop the spread whenever possible. Maintaining a six-foot (two-meter) distance from other people is the best practice for social distancing. Drivers should strive to be as contactless as possible when making deliveries. When possible, this means avoiding touching gates, doors, and bells. When it comes to package delivery, reducing contact is the key to lowering transmissions. Although most delivery apps offer contactless options, some customers express a desire to interact with their courier. In this case, the driver should keep a six-foot distance from the recipient and not linger any longer than necessary.
What else can those who have already implemented these changes do to improve their results?
Reducing Time Spent in High-Contact Situations
Smart navigation is extremely useful for any delivery driver who wants to improve their game while staying safe. EasyRoutes, one of the best apps available, has the potential to drastically alter delivery routes and lives. EasyRoutes can saves drivers an hour per day on the job thanks to advanced machine learning and routing technology. Sure, this software saves time and money, but for delivery drivers who want to keep their contact with others to a minimum, the time saved can mean a lower risk of infection. Drivers will be able to avoid transmission events and keep COVID-19 away from themselves and their customers if they can get through deliveries faster.
But what if, despite all of these precautions, drivers contract coronavirus?
What Happens If a Driver is Infected by COVID-19?
Stay at home and self-isolate if you are a driver experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Avoid contact with people for at least 14 days, especially those who are prone to illness or who work in high-contact jobs such as delivery.
Even after symptoms have subsided, a COVID-19 test is recommended. For delivery drivers, a test result is crucial because they can share a negative result with their employers to prove they are fit to work.
COVID-19 has given the delivery industry an opportunity to grow, but it is not without risk. It is critical for all drivers to exercise caution and follow best practices in order to avoid transmission. The following are the most important takeaways:
- Keep surfaces in the delivery vehicle clean
- Wash hands frequently
- Wear two masks
- Use smart navigation
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle
- Stay informed about best practices
Delivery drivers can dramatically reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission and make their customers safer by adding a few extra steps to their routine.