Wearing face masks at school and adapting to remote learning options where available are not the only changes for students and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Back to school shopping has also shifted towards contactless purchasing methods, supportive measures for locally owned businesses, and, of course, additional protective items for increased safety from potentially harmful germs. Here are seven of the biggest changes that could become the new standard for school supply shopping.

The School Supply List Now Includes PPE Items
Before COVID-19, many parents may not have known that “PPE” stood for Personal Protective Equipment, much less be able to list out some of the most common PPE-related products. Today, it might be harder to find parents who are unaware of the term and can list at least three commonly used PPE items including face masks, disposable gloves, and medical coverings. No longer only used in medical fields and other hazardous work environments, face coverings and other medical coverings, such as disposable gloves, clothing, and shoe coverings have been instrumental in helping people around the globe stay safe from COVID-19 germs when combined with proper handwashing or hand sanitizing practices and safe distancing. As a result, parents and students everywhere have had to build a supply of these items at home to be used for school, quarantine, errands, dining out, traveling, and in-person shopping. 

A person's hands are shown with a credit card while typing on a laptop.

Buying Locally Gains Support to Help Businesses
Another growing trend is buying locally to help support small businesses that had to close their doors to the public temporarily at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Such businesses were greatly impacted and many were forced to ask employees to find work elsewhere while they work to recover lost revenue. Therefore, a large community of shoppers has checked off their back to school supply lists at local stores where they can see the products up close, skip the shipping wait times, ask a knowledgeable staff member a question, and browse other sections at their leisure.

Contactless Pickup is a Popular Convenience
Of course, one of the challenges with shopping locally during COVID-19 is the potential for spreading or getting infected with this highly contagious and potentially harmful disease. A contactless pickup option has become a popular answer for those with weakened immune systems and those who wish to reduce their risk of contracting or spreading the disease. At Northside Medical Supply in Roswell, Georgia, for example, shoppers are able to place orders over the phone, call when they arrive in the parking lot, and enjoy a worry-free pickup process as a team member safely places the purchased items in the trunk or backseat. This is a particularly important service for those students, teachers, families, and medical professionals who require frequent replenishing of their medical care supplies, such as PPE items, ostomy supplies, and incontinence products.

Going in the Store Could Mean Wearing a Mask
Depending on the seasonal spikes in COVID-19 cases and the CDC recommendations, medical supply store owners could require shoppers to mask up, including those who have been vaccinated, before they can search for their backpacks, pens, notebooks, glue sticks, and pencil pouches. This means families should be ready for such requests by keeping a stock of disposable or cloth face masks in the car for a quick grab.

Families are Purchasing a Healthy Dose of Supplements for Added Immune Support
Whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, parents are making sure students are loading up on healthy levels of probiotics and vitamins, such as vitamin C, zinc, and vitamin D3. While it is always advisable to speak with a physician before adding supplements or vitamins to one’s diet, especially for children, such measures can help enhance one’s immune system in fighting off infection. Also, vitamins come in various forms, including liquid formulas or chewable tablets, for those who struggle with swallowing capsules.

Diagnostic Supplies in High Demand for Early Detection
If the student does bring home a viral infection, early detection is the key to faster-acting and more effective treatment options. Therefore, parents are discovering the value of accurate readings from reliable brands of diagnostic tools as no-touch and traditional thermometers, pulse oximeters, stethoscopes, incentive spirometers, and blood pressure machines. Such products are particularly crucial for those relying on telemedicine for wellness visits and routine care.

Where to Find PPE and Reliable Diagnostic Supplies for Back to School Days
As schools evolve to meet the changing needs of the community during COVID-19, parents and teachers are continually adapting to new requirements and safety suggestions. Locally owned medical supply companies, like Northside Medical Supply in Roswell, Georgia, offer face masks, hand sanitizers, hospital-recommended soaps and lotions, and top diagnostic tools, such as thermometers and pulse oximeters. Place your contactless curbside order at (770) 425-7718 or come inside our store located at 11040 Crabapple Road, Suite B to browse our extensive supply of trusted brands and unique finds. 

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