Even in the midst of a serious viral outbreak, people still need to eat. That means services like DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Postmates are still bringing meals to doorsteps. But in an attempt to make the process a bit safer, Postmates is offering contact-free delivery for customers who would prefer not to interact with their delivery driver.
"On Friday we introduced a non-contact delivery option for customers in an effort to make people a bit more comfortable during this time," a representative for Postmates tells Romper. "We're the first food delivery company in the U.S. to offer this and we think that it is a way to make both customers and the fleet comfortable while making and receiving deliveries. Customers can now choose if they'd like to receive their order at the door or curbside or say they'd prefer for it to just be left at the door. The fleet member will be alerted to their preference at the time of delivery."
COVID-19 outbreaks are on the rise in the United States, leaving many a bit anxious about potentially coming into contact with someone who is infected. The Centers for Disease Control currently recommend that Americans "defer all cruise ship travel worldwide" and avoid long plane rides, per Politico, and have advised older people with known health problems to "stay at home as much as possible," according to CNN. Additionally, universities in Washington and California are canceling in-person classes.
The coronavirus is believed to spread primarily person-to-person, and more specifically between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, the CDC reported. With this in mind, Postmates is aiming to provide their customers with options that could help keep them safe.
The food delivery service announced its new option on Friday via a blog post on the company's website. Through the Postmates app, customers can now specify how they would like to receive deliveries — at their door, curbside, or non-contact where the food is simply left at the door. “We know there are always people who, for health and other reasons, might prefer a non-contact delivery experience and we believe this will provide customers with that option,” the blog post reads. Users can expect an update notification on their app and can specify how they want their food delivered at checkout.
But Postmates' battle against the coronavirus doesn't stop there. After a year of offering product deliveries in New York City and Brooklyn, Walgreens announced its partnership with Postmates on Monday to bring deliveries to 13 new cities. On top of bringing you some chicken noodle soup, Postmates in select cities can now deliver convenience items and over-the-counter medications, according to the Walgreens newsroom. Delivery of Walgreens products is now available in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Portland (OR), Washington DC, Chicago, Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and Houston.
Efforts to combat the coronavirus are widespread, but safety options such as Postmates' contact-free delivery can go a long way towards helping people to feel in control of their health.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all of Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here, and Bustle’s constantly updated, general “what to know about coronavirus” here.