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Older and At-Risk Shoppers Should Take Advantage of Special Grocery Store Hours

Older woman with surgical mask on, unpacking her groceries.
Ulza/Shutterstock

Many supermarkets and general stores are taking extra precautions and preventative measures amidst this coronavirus pandemic including offering shopping hours for elderly and at-risk shoppers.

Companies like Walmart, Whole Foods, and Dollar General (and others) are doing things for the general public, like increasing cleaning routines and keeping shorter hours to accommodate for those routines.

On top of that, they are adding designated morning hours for seniors and customers with impaired immune systems—two high-risk groups identified by the CDC. Most of these stores are allocating at least 60 to 90 minute windows of time at the start of the day for these shoppers to shop after the morning sanitation routine. This minimizes their exposure both to any surface pathogens and to new pathogens entering the store with the wave of general shoppers.

Here are stores and supermarkets that offer specific shopping hours for customers who are at higher risk of contracting coronavirus:

  • Walmart
  • Target
  • Dollar General
  • Publix
  • Whole Foods
  • BI-LO
  • Stop & Shop
  • Hannaford
  • Shaw’s

Store hours may vary depending on location, so be sure to call to ask if they provide special shopping times for senior customers.

You may also notice signs and stickers are placed in high-trafficked areas (like the deli) to remind shoppers to stay at least six feet apart. Some stores are even keeping every other cash-register stand closed to allow extra space between customers.

If you are an older adult over the age of 65, it is best to stay home as much as possible. Many people are willing and prepared to assist during these difficult times, so if you have a neighbor or younger relative who can shop in your stead don’t be afraid to ask.

However, if you must go out into public, utilize these select times to shop, and follow all CDC protection and prevention recommendations.

Emilee Unterkoefler Emilee Unterkoefler
Emilee Unterkoefler is a freelance food writer, hiking enthusiast, and mama with over ten years of experience working in the food industry. Read Full Bio »

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