Food Lion, a supermarket chain with more than 1,000 locations in the Southeast, is among the chains taking precautions during the coronavirus outbreak. Although many of its competitors are changing hours, Food Lion is not doing so yet, and instead announced measures it will take to keep customers safe. There are more than 33,000 coronavirus cases in the U.S., as of Sunday afternoon.
In a statement to customers on its website, Food Lion President Meg Ham wrote that stores have " increased the frequency of our cleaning procedures and added even more rigorous practices" and employees will be directed to "regularly" disinfect "high-touch areas" in the stores. "We are working to ensure sanitizing wipes are available in stores and encourage you to use them as a precaution," Ham added.
"We are also working closely with our suppliers to ensure your local store has the items you need," Ham continued. "As you can imagine certain high-demand items, such as household cleaning products, may temporarily be out of stock, but we are working as fast as possible to restock our shelves with these items."
Any employee who is feeling ill has been asked to stay home, although the statement did not note if they will have to use vacation or sick time. The company also issued travel restrictions and "have updated the information we routinely provide them on proper handwashing and sanitizing practices."
"At the core of our company is our commitment to nourishing our neighbors and setting them up for success," Ham wrote. "This is a fluid situation and one we are following closely as we continue to implement guidance from local, state and national health authorities including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Be assured we are working hard to keep products on our shelves and keep our stores safe to continue to serve you and your families. You can count on us."
While Food Lion is sticking to its usual hours, other grocery stores have changed theirs. Aldi's said its stores will open at 9 a.m. and close at 7 p.m., shortening hours to give employees more time to stock shelves. Kroger also shortened operating hours to give employees more time to restock, as did Save a Lot.
Some stores also instituted "seniors only" hours for senior citizens, who are considered among the most at-risk if they contract the coronavirus. Albertsons, Target, Dollar General, Safeway and Stop & Shop are among the chains implementing the "seniors only" hours.0comments
As of Sunday night, more than 33,000 coronavirus cases have been reported in the U.S. The number of deaths surpassed 400, with 117 deaths reported in New York alone.
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