PALO ALTO, Calif. (KRON) — A series of smash-and-grab cases come as holiday shopping is underway.

But this year’s more serious threat during Black Friday and gift shopping season is the surge in COVID-19 cases.

So far, retail stores in California have not been linked to any virus outbreaks, according to the California Retailers Association.

The association wants shoppers to help struggling retailers, especially mom and pop stores. However, they say to do it safely and with capacity limits in mind: Get in, and get out.

“I don’t think you’ll see the same thing before people in line for those doorbuster deals,” said Rachel Michelin with the association.

She shared some safety tips for shoppers:

“Number one, first and foremost… wear that facemask … and make sure everyone in your party has a face covering.”

She also says if you’re going out, shop early to limit exposure to bigger crowds and limit the number of tips.

And supporting your favorite stores doesn’t mean you have to wait in a line to do it!

Consider shopping online, and picking up from the store, or simply have it delivered to your home.

“Now is not the time to go in and do a lot of window shopping.

Right now, a number of California counties are currently in the state’s most restrictive tier—-which limits indoor capacity at just 25%.

Michelin says the next seven weeks will be critical for retailers, especially small ones.

She urges shoppers to get in and get out.

“So number one you’re being as safe as possible but number 2, you’re opening up a spot for your community members to also have that holiday shopping experience,” Michelin added.

According to the National Retail Association, holidays sales could reach $766 billion, which would be a 5% jump from last year.

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