Study Shows Link Between In-Person Spending and COVID-19 Cases

Study Shows Link Between In-Person Spending and COVID-19 Cases

July 14, 2020         Written By Heaven Speirs

According to a new study from JPMorgan, there is a strong correlation between an increase in restaurant spending and coronavirus cases. States with higher in-person restaurant spending saw a higher influx in new COVID-19 infections over the last few weeks. Researchers compared data from John Hopkins University and over 30 million Chase credit and debit cardholders.

As troubling as that information is, you can continue to support local businesses while protecting yourself from the outbreak. It is all about being strategic with how you pay and how much time you spend inside. Here are some safe spending tips during the outbreak:

  • Use curbside pickup at stores and restaurants. For small local businesses, you may be able to order online or call to place an order. Then call again once you are in the parking lot, and they will bring out your items.
  • Pay online when possible. This bypasses the need for anyone to touch your credit or debit card. Germs linked to COVID-19 can live on cash for several days, making cash the least ideal option during the outbreak. The World Health Organization recommends using digital and contactless payments to minimize risks.
  • Use a mobile wallet or contactless card. If you cannot pay online, you may be able to use a contactless card or mobile wallet instead. In this case, you simply hold the phone or card up to the reader. You do not have to swipe or dip your card.
  • Order contactless delivery from restaurants. Apps like GrubHub, Uber Eats, DoorDash, Bite Squad, and Postmates now offer contactless deliveries. They set your food on the porch and send a confirmation text once it is delivered. You can order from local restaurants without physically interacting with anyone.
  • If you need to physically go into the store or restaurant, maintain social distancing. If you can go when there are minimal customers, that is even better.
  • Choose drive-thru services instead of going inside. This applies to pharmacies, restaurants with mobile ordering, convenience stores, and more.
  • Wash and sanitize your hands frequently. Thoroughly wash the fronts and backs of your hands following this handwashing guide from the CDC. Use hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol in between handwashing, and allow it to dry completely after application.

The key to safety during the pandemic is to reduce contact with others as much as possible. If you can pay for a product without ever touching a card reader or cash, that’s great! If not, minimize the amount of interaction you have with others. With these practices, you can protect your health and still support local businesses.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of July 14, 2020. For up-to-date information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website. Many of the offers on this article are from our affiliate partners, and LowCards.com may be compensated if you take action with any of our affiliate partners.

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About Heaven Speirs

Heaven Speirs is a contributing writer for LowCards.com. She remains up-to-date with the latest developments in the credit card industry and the financial sector as a whole. Heaven has over 10 years of experience in online journalism, the bulk of which has been focused on personal finance. Heaven attended Oklahoma State University, where she discovered her talent for research and content creation. In her spare time, Heaven enjoys painting, playing poker, and spending time with her husband and three dogs.