Instacart said on Thursday (March 5) that it would launch its door-step grocery drop-off service to all customers amid the fear of the coronavirus outbreak, according to Reuters.
The service gives customers the choice of having groceries left on their doorsteps at a specific time, instead of being hand-delivered.
The project had been tested previously with some customers at locations over the last few months. But in light of the coronavirus, the company said it had seen an increase in people using that feature. Sales had jumped tenfold over the last week, and as high as 20 times what it was before in areas of Washington and California, per published reports.
The virus has seen the most cases in those areas as of early March.
There has also been a jump in demand for items like face masks, hand sanitizers and other such items.
Because of messaging from state health departments, customers have been stockpiling some items, urging residents to buy supplies of non-perishable foods and other things like prescription medications and sanitary supplies. Consumers are ignoring statements from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that it was unnecessary to stockpile on those items.
Because of the widespread confusion and chaos surrounding the virus outbreak, fraudsters and scammers have sunk their hooks in. The amount of coronavirus mentions in emails considered to be scams has increased as of late, with some scammers trying to make themselves appear to be reputable organizations, attempting to glean sensitive personal information by stoking fears of the virus.
Congress has also closed an $8 billion deal to fight the virus as of this week, with the money earmarked for things such as disease treatment and preventing its spread.