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COVID-19 and Food Delivery

Can I get COVID-19 from getting food delivered? Or if I pay with cash?
A hand holding a box with a picture of a burger on it.
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Written by Andrew Le, MD.
Medically reviewed by
2020 - Present, Physician Researcher, Buoy Health
Last updated July 7, 2022

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COVID-19 is mainly spread from one person to another person. It happens through respiratory droplets, like coughing or sneezing. The biggest problem with food delivery is the possible physical contact when you are given the bag. Protect yourself (and the delivery person) by asking to have the food left at the door.

Though less common, COVID-19 can be spread by touching an infected surface or object. So it can potentially be transmitted by money. Since cash is something that is often touched by many hands, it is better not to pay with money when you don’t have to. Pay instead through an app.

Cooked meals are generally fine, as long as they were handled safely by the restaurant. According to the FDA, there hasn’t been any known transmission of COVID-19 through food. Utensils and surfaces are considered more of a risk for transmission. The most important defense is to wash your hands before eating and after handling anything.

The scientific understanding of COVID-19 as well as guidelines for its prevention and treatment are constantly changing. There may be new information since this article was published. It’s important to check with sources like the CDC for the most up-to-date information.

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2020 - Present, Physician Researcher, Buoy Health
Laura Hagopian, MD, FAWM, FACEP is an Emergency Medicine trained physician with 10+ years of clinical, research, and teaching experience. She has a special interest in using technology to make healthcare more accessible and affordable for everyone. Laura is a part time practicing Emergency Physician at Lowell General Hospital. In addition, she completed both quantitative and qualitative medical re...
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