Hy-Vee bans reusable bags to counter coronavirus spread

Hy-Vee is telling customers not to bring in reusable bags as the grocery chain works to take steps to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The move comes after the Minnesota Grocers Association urged shoppers to clean their reusable bags between shopping trips. The call comes after a recent study found that COVID-19 can live on surfaces for days.

"The very popular reusable bag could be a carrier. Reusable bags are machine washable," the association writes. "Cleaning followed by disinfecting is a best practice measure for the prevention of spreading COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses."

At the same time, Hy-Vee reps say they are no longer allowing customers to bring the bags into stores.

"While we appreciate our customers’ commitment to sustainability," the company wrote in a Facebook post. it isn’t always easy to know the sanitization procedures customers are using to clean the bags. And during these times, this is one more way we can potentially prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus and keep our customers and employees healthy."