Food delivery company DoorDash has taken social distancing to the doorstep as heroic delivery personnel have agreed to place a customer's food in a safe place and alert their customer by text or email when it's ready for pick-up.
"We take the health and safety of our community seriously and want to remind you of the existing options available for deliveries. If you prefer a no-contact delivery or need to request one for health reasons you can make that request today in the delivery instructions. Dashers may also reach out to you through a call or text message when you place an order to request a no-contact delivery as well," DoorDash said in a statement.
The U.S.-based company said it's currently "testing enhanced drop-off options" via the DoorDash app and hopes to have it operational in a few days.
Besides not handing the food directly to patrons to protect their health and safety, DoorDash is asking its deliverers to "text a photo to your customer to confirm the food is in its location, and then wait from a comfortable distance for the customer to collect their order."
The move towards no-contact deliveries has more benefits than convenience for people increasingly choosing to stay at home and self-isolate or work remotely.
DoorDash added in its email that "for those who are ill or who have been in contact with others who may be ill, this is particularly important to protect the health of the Dasher community," the company said.
The no-contact deliveries, to be arranged at checkout on the DoorDash app, comes as state and provincial governments across North America have started to forcibly close restaurants or restrict them to selling only to-go food in an effort to combat the coronavirus.
Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto's medical officer of health, on Monday ordered that restaurants in Canada's biggest city move to take-out only as a safety precaution against the COVID-19 outbreak.
DoorDash, out of concern for its deliverers, or dashers, who may become ill themselves after being infected by the new coronavirus, have also unveiled a COVID-19 Financial Assistance Program. Should they get ill, dashers may qualify for up to two weeks of financial assistance if they have worked for DoorDash for at least 60 days and completed at least 30 deliveries in the last 30 days.