Dr. Saphier on whether you should avoid going to the supermarket to slow the spread of coronavirus

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Fox News medical contributor Dr. Nicole Saphier on Monday provided tips to stay safe while going to the grocery store during the coronavirus pandemic.

America’s Newsroom” host Sandra Smith asked Saphier if people should stop going to the grocery store altogether, especially because Dr. Deborah Birx, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, made such a suggestion recently.

Saphier answered by saying, “I have a hard time responding to that.”

“Thousands of people are on ventilators now and this is a big week for people because some of these people have been on ventilators for multiple weeks now and this is when we're either going to see people dying or people coming off of the ventilators and recovering,” Saphier explained. “And so they’re trying to keep as many people out of the hospitals as possible because … the hospitals are saying they only have a few ventilators left.

“We don't want more people on the ventilators this week. We need to care for the people who are already there. That’s why they are saying try to stay in,” she continued.

Most businesses remain closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, but supermarkets have been considered essential businesses, as they provide millions of Americans with food and supplies.

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Supermarkets throughout the U.S. have implemented safety measures during the pandemic, but some officials have recommended cutting back on grocery visits over the next couple of weeks.

“The next two weeks are extraordinarily important,” White House coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx said at a press conference on Saturday, according to the New York Post. “This is the moment to not be going to the grocery store, not going to the pharmacy, but doing everything you can to keep your family and your friends safe."

Currently there are more than 337,900 coronavirus cases reported in the U.S. with more than 9,600 deaths, according to data compiled by Fox News.

“If you need to go the grocery store absolutely go to the grocery store, but please please please consider wearing a mask, make sure you are washing your hands multiple times,” Saphier recommended.

She noted that “some people tend to wear gloves and then think that they're OK and they forget that they've touched things and then they touch their face and that's how they get infected.”

Saphier encouraged people to adhere to social distancing and maintain 6 feet among people when inside the grocery store. She also recommended calling up the grocery store before going to see how busy the store is at that time.

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“If you need to go to the pharmacy, if you need to go to the grocery store you should absolutely go, but if you don't have to go, if you were just going because you're really craving like a coffee cake, maybe you hold off for a week,” she concluded.

Fox News’ David Aaro contributed to this report.