NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – With orders to stay home and stop the spread of coronavirus, many still have to go out for food shopping.

Times Square may be nearly deserted, local grocery stores are far from empty but experts warn about shopping safely, reports CBS2’s Nick Caloway.

Many stores in New Jersey and elsewhere are putting up plastic partitions at cash registers to separate customers and checkout workers.

“You’ll now see that there’s tape at the bottom of every register, to indicate 6 feet from the pin pad, as well as tape at the pharmacy, so you can have six feet from whoever is at the counter before you,” said Stefanie Shuman of Stop & Shop.

At a Trader Joe’s in Paramus, there’s a line of people outside because the store limits how many shoppers are allowed in at any given time.

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There’s also a lot you can do to protect yourself at the grocery store.

Corey Basch is a public health professor at William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J.

“I think the main thing people are grappling with now is that it’s a comfortable place and they’re not accustomed to taking that extra layer of protection,” said Basch.

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The first thing you should do when you get to the store is to wipe down your cart, especially the handle.

Experts also recommend using a paper shopping list so you can avoid touching your phone and always be mindful of what you are touching.

“Not touching your face after you’re touching other products in the store, certainly not touching your phone and those types of things, to avoid the cross-contamination,” said Basch.

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Basch says shoppers should avoid paying with cash, if possible.

Instead, use your credit card and always stay 6 feet away from other people which can be difficult at a crowded store.

“Certainly going when the store is less busy,” said Basch. “If you drive by and it seems like it’s packed, social distancing is going to be more difficult. So maybe going at off-hours would really provide that extra layer of safety.”

Experts say once you get the food home you should clean it before you store it, so wash any produce and packages with soap and water or wipe down the packaging with disinfectant.

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