• By Deb Balzer

Holiday shopping do’s and don’ts during COVID-19

November 6, 2020
a young adult white woman shopping in a mall, wearing a face mask and carrying a gift box with a holiday bow

As the holiday season gets underway, shopping may look a lot different this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. When choosing retail stores to visit, Dr. John O'Horo, a Mayo Clinic infectious diseases physician, says you should look for businesses that take extra precautions to create an environment that limits exposure to the virus — and be sure to follow those important protocols. In this Mayo Clinic News Network video, Dr. O'Horo provides a tour through one such retail business. 

Watch: Safe holidays shopping with Dr. John O'Horo

Journalists: Broadcast-quality video pkg (2:45) is in the downloads at the end of this post. Please "Courtesy: John O'Horo, M.D./Infectious Diseases/Mayo Clinic." Read the script.

Look for businesses that offer safety precautions for their customers and staff, including the following:

  • Enforces face mask policy
  • Offers face masks if you forget one
  • Hand sanitizer at entrance 
  • Touch-free payment options
  • Encourages social distancing
  • Limits the number of customers in the store at one time

Dr. O'Horo says it's important that everyone does their part to help reduce community spread of COVID-19. Stay home and refrain from shopping or being around others if you are not feeling well, if you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or if you have a fever.


For the safety of our patients, staff and visitors, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place.  Anyone shown without a mask was either recorded prior to COVID-19 or recorded in a non-patient care area where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.

Information in this post was accurate at the time of its posting. Due to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, scientific understanding along with guidelines and recommendations may have changed since the original publication date

For more information and all your COVID-19 coverage, go to the Mayo Clinic News Network and mayoclinic.org.

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