An Oakland resident pumps gas at a Chevron station in Berkeley on July 3. Oakland resident Ed Rogers pumps gas at a Chevron station in Berkeley, CA on July 3, 2019.

(Minneapolis, MN)  —  Minnesotans are seeing the lowest gas prices in nearly 20 years.  The demand for oil has dropped after the stay at home order to confront the coronavirus pandemic.  A gallon of gas yesterday morning was going for less than one dollar at a few Minnesota gas stations.  Prices at some stations in the metro had dropped to one-dollar-and-six cents.  Meanwhile, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has dispelled rumors that drivers can contract COVID-19 by touching gas pump handles.  They say the risk of contracting the virus by handling a gas pump handle is very low, but if you would like to decrease the risk:

  • Try to use paper towels that are sometimes available at the pump or have some with you to cover your hands when you grip the handle.
  • Do the same to isolate yourself from the keypad when entering payment information.
  • Throw away any paper towels you might have used.
  • Use hand sanitizer to make sure your hands are clean after you’re done and before you get back into your car.
  • Cleaning your hands after you’re done seems like the quickest, easiest precaution. But some drivers might want to have disinfectant wipes handy for wiping down the gas pump handle and the payment keypad before pumping.