Since the arrival of Covid-19 in March of 2020, many aspects of our lives have changed, like wearing masks in shops and social distancing, and many of us are still adjusting to it. A big part of that adjustment is having to remain indoors and allow delivery to pick up the slack for our basic needs.
Many people, all around the world, have begun to rely on services provided by companies, such as Deliveroo and UberEats to drop necessities to their door.
For those companies and drivers making the deliveries, the increase in demand can provide an incredible possibility for higher pay and company growth. This sudden high demand doesn’t come without its challenges, and for unprepared drivers it can have serious health complications.
During the pandemic, delivery drivers are the go-between for people in isolation and the packages they want delivered. When drivers don’t take their hygiene and sanitization seriously, they could unwittingly help spread the virus to lots of homes. With that in mind, it’s important that all drivers practice the proper procedures in order to protect themselves and others as they go about their work.
Making Sure Drivers are Healthy and Safe
The first and best way to fight any virus, especially coronavirus, is personal health and hygiene. Maintaining good personal health by having a healthy and balanced diet, staying hydrated, and getting plenty of rest are the best ways for everyone to protect themselves. Maintaining this personal health means drivers are less likely to display any unrelated covid-like symptoms, meaning they’re less likely to self-isolate and miss work to evaluate their illness. If for some reason drivers do become ill, they can begin to treat it like the coronavirus while they wait for their test results.
Of course, many with the virus can be asymptomatic, meaning they could carry the virus unknowingly without displaying any symptoms. As a good practice, it is best for drivers to regularly monitor their interaction with people and surfaces in case they come into contact with the virus.
Beyond personal health, driver’s should use proper Covid-prevention equipment to decrease virus transmission while on the job…
Essential Preventative Measures to Decrease Virus Transmission
When it comes to COVID-19, the use of face masks cannot be overstated. Masks decrease virus transmission dramatically by acting as a barrier and blocking virus particles from being spread.
Recently, the CDC announced that wearing two masks can further decrease transmission rates over just one mask. Given delivery is a high-contact role, wearing two masks should be part of any driver’s routine. When wearing two masks, make sure the inner mask is disposable and the outer is cloth to improve the seal.
Regular and proper hand washing is an important precaution in preventing the spread of the virus. The best solution is warm water and soap, rendering coronavirus useless. When on the road, soap and water isn’t always available and if that is the case, using alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing at least 60% alcohol is the next best option.
Delivery drivers often touch car doors, doorbells, door handles, and packages and it is vital that they wash their hands after. All of these surfaces are high-transmission spots. These pose the highest risk for drivers and customers. Whenever possible, it is advised drivers wash their hands before and after touching their masks.
Latex or Nitrile gloves are a great, disposable way for delivery drivers to protect themselves further. Wearing gloves provides drivers with a barrier against high-contact surfaces, avoiding possible virus transmission. For those wearing gloves for their deliveries, it’s important to carry many pairs and to dispose of them regularly. In between glove changes, it is a good idea to sanitize hands to further prevent the spread of the virus. An added bonus of gloves is that they can stop hands from drying out, which can be a symptom of regular washing.
Having a Clean Vehicle
Taking the time to maintain and clean a delivery vehicle is something all delivery drivers should do. Drivers should always carry cleaning essentials such as hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes to keep both the driver and the vehicle clean and free from any potential virus transmission.
Reducing Contact and Increasing Social Distancing
The best way any driver can help diminish the spread of the virus is to reduce the amount of close contact they have with others. As advised by many companies, maintaining at least six-foot, or two-meter, distance from others is the best practice. Whenever possible, drivers should aim for a contactless delivery. Contactless delivery means leaving a package at a door then moving away before the customer retrieves their package, meaning drivers avoid close contact with customers.
How Route Optimization Leads to Safer Driving
Route optimization software reduces time driving by routing drivers around dangerous terrain and heavy traffic. Drivers can use the time saved to double check their sanitization, and further protect themselves without being behind schedule. With less time on the job, drivers then have a smaller window of opportunity for transmission within such a high-contract role.
Smart navigation can be a great way for drivers to improve their safety during the difficult times of Covid-19. Straightaway is one of the best apps out there for route optimization, and it can greatly improve delivery time and reduce time spent in traffic.
What Happens If a Driver Gets COVID-19?
The best thing to do if a driver experiences any symptoms of COVID-19 is to self-isolate at home, get lots of a rest, and maintain a healthy diet. Avoiding contact with others for at least fourteen days after symptoms go away is recommended to prevent transmission. Drivers should also get a COVID-19 test after their symptoms have ended to ensure there is a lower risk of spreading the virus.
Maintaining Routine to Reduce Risks
Although COVID-19 has created many hurdles and risks, it has also created lots of opportunities for industries like delivery. The key takeaways are that drivers should:
- Wear masks
- Sanitize hands regularly
- Wear gloves whenever possible
- Keep surfaces clean
- Use smart navigation
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle
If drivers maintain the practices we have listed above, they can ensure better health for everyone and avoid virus transmission.