KANSAS CITY — Increased demand along with social distancing guidelines have supermarket retailers changing how they deliver groceries during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

For its online customers, Hy-Vee, West Des Moines, Iowa, is transitioning some service in several areas to third-party partners like Shipt and DoorDash. The move will help in-store employees focus on needs at stores, including filling online orders.

“This is an unprecedented time for all of us,” Hy-Vee said when announcing the change on March 16. “We've never dealt with anything like this before, and we know you haven't either. We appreciate your patience and your loyalty as we navigate these changing times.”

H-E-B, San Antonio, took social distancing into account when changing its delivery programs on March 17. Delivery drivers will leave orders at the customer’s doorstep, which will eliminate close personal interaction. As an added precaution, curbside and home delivery customers no longer need to touch the mobile device screen to acknowledge their order was received.

COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person such as between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta.

Giant Food Stores, Carlisle, Pa., on March 17 began providing contactless deliveries in which the driver places the order on a doorstep, rings the door, steps back 6 feet and waits to greet the customer. Giant said that because of high demand, there may be limited time slot availability for delivery and/or pickup and some orders may be delayed. Some products are out of stock.