In an announcement this week, Instacart said that it will start providing its full-service shoppers with health and safety kits from third-party manufacturers. These new items are intended to help protect shoppers from contracting the novel coronavirus and developing COVID-19. The company repeatedly stresses that it has been following CDC guidelines, but says now that it is taking ‘proactive steps’ to give its shoppers a bit of help.
Instacart will start providing its shoppers with these kits next week; they will contain reusable cotton fabric face masks, hand sanitizer, and a reuseable forehead thermometer. The company says that its masks won’t be reducing the number that is available for healthcare and other medical workers. As well, the hand sanitizer is made with ethyl alcohol.
People who are operating as full-service shoppers on Instacart’s platform will need to place an order starting next week in order to get one of the kits, which are free. Instacart doesn’t make any mention of the recent worker strike that impacted the company, something spurred by complaints from shoppers who felt the company wasn’t doing enough to protect them during the pandemic.
Soon after plans for the strike were announced, Instacart said that it would start providing shoppers confirmed to have COVID-19, or who have been ordered into quarantine over it, with 14 days of paid sick leave. The new health kit comes as health officials are expected to change their tune on face masks in the US, ordering everyone to wear cloth masks or something like them when in public.
In addition to its new health kits, Instacart is also launching its own COVID-19 Resource Center, which contains information related to the novel coronavirus and the infectious disease that it causes. The site is intended to help Instacart shoppers access safety guidelines and more; it also contains info for customers and more.