Delivering items to someone who is immunocompromised protocol
This is the protocol for delivering items to someone who is self-isolating because they are immunocompromised. It is designed so you do not introduce the virus to their home.
It may appear long and thorough, but it is absolutely essential that virus is not introduced into the home of someone especially at risk, who may need an ICU bed if infected.
The person delivering should not enter the recipient's home at any point during this process, to prevent the virus from being spread into the house (on shoes etc). People receiving deliveries should be aware that anyone who attempts to gain entry is not acting according to protocol.
For situations where it is necessary to enter the recipient's home, see 'Entering a home in self-isolation protocol'.
How to deliver items to someone in self isolation
- Clean and disinfect each item you’re going to deliver, and place them all in a plastic bag which has been disinfected inside and out, or a new bag. See Disinfection protocol for how to disinfect each item.
- If you have been shopping for someone, you should take the items you have picked up to somewhere you can disinfect them and do this before delivering. This is especially important with metal and plastic surfaces as COVID-19 can live on these surfaces for several days.
- If this is not possible (eg. if the intended recipient wants something that's only available in one shop near them, and you don't live close) you can take a prepared double bag to the shop and leave the recipient to do the disinfecting once the item has been delivered. You must only do this if you are sure that the person is aware of the need to disinfect the item and happy to take this on.
- Place the bag in another, larger bag which you have disinfected the inside of, or which is new. This is to protect your disinfected stuff in the inner bag, so someone immunocompromised can touch it. Close the top as much as you can.
- Travel to see the person, in a way which minimises your risk of exposure to the virus.
- If possible, travel by pavement, a private car or bike in which you’ve wiped down all the surfaces you’ll touch with bleach solution, or a taxi.
- If you must use public transport, try not to touch spaces with your hands, use hand sanitiser after travelling if available, or wear gloves which you can change.
- If wearing gloves while travelling, remove these immediately after leaving the train/bus, without touching the exterior with your bare skin, so that they turn inside out to enclose the potentially-contaminated surface. (illustrated technique, video technique)
- As you approach the person's house, call/text/etc them to open the door.
- Do this before you put on (fresh) gloves, so that you don't risk contaminating the gloves with any virus that may be on your phone.
- If they live in a block of flats or other building with a communal entrance accessed by a buzzer, call/text and ask them to buzz you in, rather than pressing the button.
- Use hand sanitiser if you have any.
- Put on fresh gloves if you have any, ensuring that you touch only the cuff of the glove with your bare hand. (illustrated technique) This minimises the risk of transmitting viruses to the exterior of your gloved hands.
- If you have hand sanitiser, use it before putting on the gloves.
- If there are plenty of masks available in your area, you should wear a mask for this; if not, prioritise masks for healthcare workers and people who must enter houses to assist with personal care.
- If you do have a mask, put it on before putting on your gloves, to minimise the risk of transferring virus from your face to your gloved hands. (ECDC)
- Ask the recipient to back away from the door at least two meters
- Put the bag on the doorstep/on the ground immediately outside the door so that the person can reach it from inside. Do not step through the doorway.
- Fold down the outer bag so they don’t have to touch it. Don’t touch the inner bag.
- Do this as quickly as possible, and don't talk while doing it.
- Back away two meters, and let them get the items by picking up the inner bag and lifting it out of the outer bag remaining at a distance of two meters. (Feel free to shout greetings! But don’t hug/hand off items in person/etc.)
- When they have retrieved the inner bag, ask them to back away inside, and take the outer bag away with you.
- Take your gloves off, without touching the exterior of the glove with your bare skin. (illustrated technique, video technique).
- If you are wearing a mask, remove gloves first, then remove mask by hooking fingers under the straps at the back.
- Wash your hands as soon as possible after leaving.
If the recipient is not happy for the double-bag to be placed outside the door (for example, in severe weather conditions), you can place it immediately inside the door, without stepping though the doorway, and follow the same procedure. After you leave, the recipient should wash/disinfect the area where the outer bag rested.
If you need to collect cash or any other items from the house, see Collecting items from someone who is immunocompromised protocol.