While the novel coronavirus outbreak continues, fast food chains are doing everything they can to keep their customers as safe as possible.
In response to the pandemic, which includes 1,629 cases in the U.S. as of Friday, McDonald's told Good Housekeeping that the chain is practicing enhanced safety by taking measures like "increasing the stock of sanitizing hand gel dispensers" in the entrances of their restaurants. Meanwhile, a rep from Five Guys tells us that the burgers-and-fries chain is carrying out additional cleaning for all "customer touch points" (door handles, condiment tables, and other high-touch surfaces) while store managers are reinforcing the company's illness policies so all potentially sick employees stay home. Meanwhile, Chipotle is offering free delivery from March 15-31 as well as tamper-proof seals on its food orders to make sure guests know their meal hasn't been touched during the delivery process.
It appears that for now, the majority of big fast food chains are planning to keep their doors open amid the steady spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. But to be clear, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes that the coronavirus is spread from person to person mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person sneezes or coughs in close proximity to someone else, not via food consumption. That said, it's important to do what feels right for you.
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Here are some of the fast food restaurants we've confirmed are still open for business (note that this list is subject to change):
Jack in the Box
More food delivery options:
Food delivery services are also doing their part to limit the chances of spreading the virus. Postmates announced that customers now have the option of a "non-contact" delivery — in other words, you can select to have your food left at the door so you don't have to interact with the driver. Door Dash is giving customers the ability to text a photo to the driver of where you'd like your food to be left.
While customers who use GrubHub and UberEats have long been able to send digital messages and instructions to delivery drivers via their apps, the feature is now especially helpful if you're concerned about avoiding direct contact with others.
Instacart is also allowing its customers to take advantage of a new “Leave at My Door Delivery” feature, which lets you choose to have your groceries left outside the door at a designated time.
Right now, the CDC recommends distancing yourself from those who are sick as well as others, especially if COVID-19 is spreading in your community.
For helpful resources regarding coronavirus, visit The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Coronavirus Disease 2019 fact page and The National Association of County and City Health Officials' directory of local health departments.
Additional reporting done by Katie Bourque and Hannah Jeon.
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