Coronavirus: Knoxville driver takes safety precautions amid COVID-19 pandemic

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – On Monday, Gov. Bill Lee ordered the closure of all nonessential businesses across the state.

But things like food and medicine, as well as transportation companies, have been deemed essential, and are still in operation.

RELATED | LIST: What TN businesses, services are ‘nonessential’ vs. ‘essential’ according to Gov. Lee’s Executive Order No. 22

WATE 6 On Your Side reporter Elizabeth Kuebel heard from a ride-share driver now delivering groceries and learned the steps he is taking to help stay safe.

“I’m cleaning my steering wheel, I’m cleaning my door handles,” said Andrew Blansett. “I sanitize my hands, I put on a pair of gloves, I’ll shop, and then I’ll throw these away and then I’ll do it all again for the next client.”

RELATED: Who’s Hiring

Blansett, a Knoxville Uber driver, is taking on more orders for a grocery delivering company, as he’s watched significantly fewer requests come in for the ride-sharing app amid COVID-19 concerns.

“I’ve gone from having almost 40 or 50 rides a day down to two or three rides a day, just because everybody is staying at home. I’ve had to resort to going and doing other jobs besides Uber,” he said.

Blansett said he’s frequently dropping off people’s groceries at their doors, avoiding face-to-face contact. He’s making sure he and his clients stay healthy, so he can continue doing his part.

“I feel like my job is essential right now because a lot of people won’t go out, a lot of people can’t go out. They still need to eat. Someone has to be able to step up and take groceries to them,” he said.

Blansett’s safety is also a priority of his. He’s healthy now but said if he ever starts feeling sick, he will stay at home.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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