Coronavirus spurs noncontact food delivery in US

Services like Postmates and Instacart have launched noncontact delivery options as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the United States.

Story at a glance

  • Postmates and Instacart launched the services last week.
  • The virus led companies like KFC and McDonalds to provide contactless delivery in China.
  • More than 800 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the U.S. with 28 deaths.
As the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the world and in the United States, delivery service providers are now offering no-contact drop off options to consumers to minimize the spread of germs.

Third-party delivery service Postmates announced in a blog post it has introduced a noncontact delivery option feature in its app for customers and workers.

“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 read.

Customers can choose from the Drop Off Options feature to meet their Postmate at the door (as they have before), meet curbside or go noncontact and have deliveries left at their door.

Last week, grocery delivery service Instacart launched a “Leave at My Door Delivery” service, which allows courier to leave a customer’s order at a scheduled time without making contact with the person to receive it.

“Over the last week, in particular, we observed a significant surge in consumer adoption and opt-in usage of the feature. Based on the increased demand for this new product feature, we’ve now made it available to all Instacart customers,” the company said in a statement.

When the coronavirus began sweeping through China, McDonald’s, Starbucks, KFC and Pizza Hut launched contactless delivery services in the country in an effort to reduce person-to-person transmission. Some companies also had contactless in-store pickup service at several locations.

While the outbreak continues to spread in the U.S., concerts, conferences and other large events have been canceled nationwide to avoid person-to-person contact. Several universities have canceled in-person classes, and people are being encouraged to work from home.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says person-to-person transmission of the coronavirus takes place during close contact, or within about 6 feet, when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

More than 800 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the U.S., with at least 28 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.


This article was originally published by Joseph Guzman,

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