WASHINGTON — The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is impacting senior citizens and those with underlying conditions the most.
To help seniors, many of whom may have underlying medical conditions, grocery stores across the United States are helping to make shopping for this group of customers easier, more accessible and safe.
The measures that stores are taking include limiting in-store shopping hours on some weekdays just for seniors, and those with underlying medical conditions.
Here is a look at the senior store hours for DMV grocery stores:
Harris Teeter is designating Monday and Thursday mornings from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. as senior shopping hours for shoppers aged 60 and over.
Learn more about what Harris Teeter is doing here.
Food Lion hasn't reported a change in their store hours overall and for seniors, but they did make a statement about increasing the frequency of cleaning their stores as the coronavirus spreads.
"While we pride ourselves in having clean stores, we have increased the frequency of our cleaning procedures and added even more rigorous practices. Our associates are regularly disinfecting high-touch areas in our stores. We are working to ensure sanitizing wipes are available in stores and encourage you to use them as a precaution."
They are also encouraging their workers to stay home if they feel sick and have issued travel restrictions for their associates. Read their full statement here.
From March 24 through April 28, Walmart stores will host an hourlong senior shopping event every Tuesday for customers aged 60 and older. This will start one hour before the store opens. Our Pharmacies and Vision Centers will also be open during this time.
They've also enacted a policy that gives their employees more flexibility if they need sick leave, and have shared guidelines about company travel over the next few months.
The company has adjusted its overall hours to 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. to enable its team members to spend more time sanitizing, unloading deliveries and stocking shelves. Its stores receive deliveries throughout the day, so the company's shelves will be replenished for shoppers at all hours. GIANT is also placing a limit of “two” on key categories throughout the store — including paper goods and disinfectant products — so everyone can have access to the items they need.
Learn more here.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, ALDI stores will open at 8:30 a.m. and reserve the first hour of business for vulnerable shoppers. This includes senior citizens, expectant mothers and those with underlying health concerns.
Wegmans statement on senior shopping hours is below:
"We understand that certain retailers are offering dedicated senior shopping hours early in the morning. First and foremost, we do not see this as solely an elderly issue; there are other susceptible populations that also need support. Our stores are continually being cleaned and sanitized — we feel they are clean all the time, not solely when they open. We do not believe putting an entire population of highly susceptible people together in one location, at one time is a good idea. In addition, products arrive at each of our stores at different times throughout the day. Because of this, we cannot guarantee the availability of the key items these customers would be looking for during a specific set of hours. Lastly, there are many wonderful people and community services in every market who can serve as a resource for those who fall in these susceptible populations. As always, we are proud to provide incredible customer service to all, and any customer requiring additional assistance accessing our products or services should visit the service desk. This is a rapidly evolving situation and we will continue to monitor and adjust accordingly."
Whole Foods announced that beginning March 18, all of its stores in the U.S. and Canada begin opening doors to people who are 60 and older an hour before opening to the public.
Employees increase sanitation on the food bars and customers can find more hand sanitizer stations inside the stores. Read Whole Foods' response here.
On weekdays the first shopping hour of 8 a.m. — 9 a.m. will be reserved for seniors and other individuals most at risk as identified by the CDC. Fresh Market ask that its other guests who do not fall into a higher risk category respect this reserved hour.
You can read about what the company is doing in its statement here.
Safeway is designating two hours every Tuesday and Thursday morning for vulnerable shoppers, including senior citizens, pregnant women or those with compromised immune systems. This includes those who have been advised to avoid leaving home as much as possible."
Giant will offer dedicated shopping hours for senior citizens 60-and-older and individuals with compromised immune systems.
Every store in its operating areas will reserve 6:00-7:00 a.m., every day of the week for this vulnerable population to shop and practice social distancing.
The stores will operate on regular hours of operation during all other times. We continue to work on restocking our shelves and will be ready to serve to the best of our ability.
Tuesdays and Thursdays, Costco members 60 and older can shop from 8 to 9 a.m. at all locations except Business Centers.
Every day between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m., Trader Joe's crew members will maintain an additional line outside the front door for our senior customers. This will ensure that those customers in need will have an expedited entrance to the store to help make their experience a more positive one.
For seniors, Target is expanding its shopping hours for the elderly and those with underlying health concerns. Target will be reserving the first hour its stores are open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to accommodate those shoppers. Its partners at CVS will have their pharmacy locations open during that time as well. To confirm local store opening times, visit Target.com/store-locator.
Starting this Thursday, March 26, Sam’s Club locations nationwide will offer early shopping hours every Tuesday and Thursday from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. for seniors and those with disabilities or compromised immune systems. This includes our pharmacy and optical centers and will last until further notice.