Shopping During COVID-19: Commissary Trips In the New Normal

Commissary shopping during COVID-19: safety tips to keep in mind.

Even amid the pandemic military members and retirees still need to provide for their families by shopping during COVID-19 for daily food and sundries. People want to know that grocery shopping is safe. Rest assured that to this point, not a single case has been reported showing COVID-19 transmission via foodstuffs. In other words, no evidence to show that coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is transmitted through food packaging or foods itself. For active duty service members, ROM policies and numerous other regulations have affected many aspects of daily life. 

Maybe you’ve experienced your favorite commissary location being out of some foods and household products, but try not to worry.  In the US there is no shortage of food, including the commissary system. Manufacturing and food production are happening just like normal days. You can easily shop for your groceries when the panic that COVID-19 caused is over, and lockdowns ease.

Many US stores are doing free deliveries for elderly and are doing whatever they can to keep their grocery stocks full. Stores are modifying their work hours just to help people in buying with care. You can quickly check the status of grocery stores near you online or visit their websites to learn more.

Social distancing applied to the checkout lines for shopping during COVID-19 commissaries

Specific guidelines for shopping during COVID-19 at the commissary or your favorite off-base store that anyone can follow:

  • Prepare all the grocery lists in advance. Plan to buy only 1 to 2 weeks of groceries and other supplies. Shopping groceries during the COVID-19 crisis more than you need can cause shortages of supplies. It will increase the unnecessary demand for supplies.
  • DO NOT FORGET to wear a mask when you go out for a grocery shopping or visit any store. Many stores have set this as a requirement for grocery shopping. You can explore your state or city for needs before planning to visit a store for grocery shopping during COVID-19.
  • Keep a reusable bag with you when you shop. Or, if you are using the store’s cart, make sure you wipe off the handles before touching it. Keep a wipe on yourself or use one provided by the store if they’re available.
  • Practicing social distance and keeping a distance of 6-feet from other people is recommended when you visit the stores. You should keep in mind that you are at the store to buy groceries, and safety should be your top priority. 
  • One thing that many people actually struggle with: never to touch your face with your hands. Most people touch their face several times per hour and don’t even realize it. When you return from shopping, wash your hands for more than 20 seconds. 
  • Even though there is no history of any cases reported where people contracted with the virus through packaging, taking a moment to clean the packaging or clean and leave it for some time to air dry, this is just an extra precaution if desired.

At the end of the day…

These are several easy measures for you and your family to keep safe from COVID-19 while grocery shopping. The basic four steps you can take any time are: stay clean (wash your hands often), stay separate from others, limit your trips to as few as possible and have a mask ready for places that require them . 


And, don’t forget to keep an eye on our Career Search Engine to stay on top of workplace changes as we move through this challenging time.