Steps to stay healthy when shopping at local farmers markets

Apr 29, 2020, 12:02 PM | Updated: 1:34 pm
Ballard, Farmers Market...
The Ballard Farmers Market. (Ursula Reutin, KIRO Radio)
(Ursula Reutin, KIRO Radio)

Under the Stay Home, Stay Healthy initiative in Washington state, farmers markets are considered essential businesses. The local markets provide shoppers an opportunity to purchase fresh, healthy food direct from local farmers.

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The associations that run farmers markets have already taken some steps to protect shoppers and vendors and are working directly with public health agencies. Over the past couple weekends, some farmers markets have already reopened with new guidelines in place, such as the popular Ballard and University District markets, while others remain closed.

Public Health — Seattle & King County released a few tips for customers to follow when visiting farmers markets in order to protect yourself and your community.

The farmers markets are introducing guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19, so be sure to follow any new instructions in place when you visit. Some markets will have designated entrances and exits, hand washing stations, and will ask that you bag your own items.

If you’re choosing to do your shopping at a farmers market, treat it as you would shopping at a grocery store. Come in with a plan, don’t go with a group, and only stay as long as you need to get your essential items. Give each other 6 feet of space in line and walking between vendors. The booths will be set up further apart than usual to help promote distancing, but Public Health asks shoppers to be aware of their surroundings at all time.

Whenever possible, pay using credit cards, contactless payment methods, or exact change to limit the handling of money. At some markets, you may have the option to pre-order or pre-pay.

How to get groceries without leaving your home

If you’re looking for ways to support local food and farmers in Seattle and King County from home, you can find flowers and products online, or donate to funds that support farmers. Learn more here.

Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and prevention is now recommending everyone wear a cloth face covering in public, and at a farmers market is no exception. Continue to follow public health guidelines at all times, including staying home when you’re sick and practicing good hygiene habits at all times.

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Steps to stay healthy when shopping at local farmers markets