Coronavirus: Instacart, Postmates introduce no-contact delivery operations

With concerns rising about the spread of the coronavirus, delivery app companies like Instacart and Postmates are offering noncontact delivery options.

Instacart, a grocery delivery company, introduced its "Leave at My Door Delivery" option Thursday, CNN reported. The company said it had been testing the feature in recent months and decided to add it for all customers now because of "increased demand" for it in recent days, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

On Friday, Postmates announced "Dropoff Options" on its blog.

“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,” Postmates wrote on its blog.

Another company, grocery delivery service FreshDirect, put a note on its website that said its "delivery personnel will bring your order up to your door, but cannot enter your home at this time," CNN reported.

Nationally, Instacart officials said there has been a tenfold increase in orders since the coronavirus was first detected in the United States, the Times reported. In states like Washington, which has the most number of cases, orders have jumped even more, the newspaper reported.

In an email to its contract workers, Instacart told shoppers it was “committed to keeping everyone safe” as the “situation evolves."

Customers who want the noncontact delivery option can find it on the apps for Instacart and Postmates. The customer will be prompted to select a delivery preference before checking out, TechCrunch reported.

CNN reached out to other delivery services, including GrubHub, DoorDash and Uber Eats, for comment.

In a statement, a GrubHub spokesman said, “this is obviously a complex and fast-moving situation. We are focused on prioritizing the health and safety of our drivers, diners, restaurant partners and employees during this challenging time. We will continue to monitor the situation closely, including assessing and analyzing the potential impact on our business.”

DoorDash declined to comment, CNN reported. Uber Eats did not respond to a request for comment.

Uber Eats does not have a noncontact option, users can leave delivery notes asking a driver to leave their food at the door or with a doorman, WTVD reported. The company also gave its drivers coronavirus health and safety guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this year, the television station reported.

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