COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. — If you shop at Hy-Vee in Cottage Grove, leave that reusable cotton or canvas tote bag at home.

As a precaution against the spread of COVID-19, the Iowa-based corporation has banned reusable shopping bags in all its 265 stores across the Midwest.

The ban goes into effect Friday, March 20. Customers will have to use bags provided by in-store employees.

“Because it is not always easy to know the sanitation procedures customers are taking at their homes to keep the bags clean, this is one more way the grocer is helping prevent the spread of the virus,” the company said in a statement.

Hy-Vee will also install temporary window panels at its checkout stations in order to provide an additional layer of protection between cashier and customer.

“Our checkouts are where our customers and employees are coming in the closest contact,” director of public relations Christina Gayman said.

Gayman said that they’ve completed installing the barriers at all of its stores in Iowa and will begin installing them at the Cottage Grove Hy-Vee sometime next week.