Sam's Club Offers Special Hours, Concierge Service for Seniors and Those at High-Risk for Coronavirus

Sam's Club became the latest retailer to implement special hours for seniors and others at high risk during the coronavirus pandemic. The retailer, owned by Walmart, will also launch a "Shop from Your Car" concierge service so customers can pick up items without leaving your car. Actress Jennifer Garner helped promote the service with an advertisement video on her Instagram Story Thursday.

"Taking care of members is at the heart of our business," Lance de la Rosa, Sam's Club executive vice president and COO, wrote Thursday. "We know some members may need extra help during this time. So we're introducing two new programs to support seniors and those with disabilities or compromised immune systems, to make sure these members have a special experience in the club."

The special shopping hours began on Thursday and will run from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays until further notice. The hours are meant just for seniors, those with disabilities and those with compromised immune systems. Pharmacies and optical centers will also be open during the special hours.

The "Shop from Your Car" service will also be available during the same special hours. Customers just have to park in a special location, and customers can put in orders without ever having to leave your car. An employee will grab the items on the list and deliver them to the customer.

Sam's Club is not the first retailer to institute "seniors only" hours to help those at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, to ease their concerns as consumers rush to "panic buy" products. Albertsons, Dollar General, Safeway, Stop & Shop and Target are just a few of the retailers launching special hours for guests most at risk during the pandemic.

jennifer garner sam's club instagram
(Photo: Jennifer Garner/@jennifer.garner)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those most at-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 include people 65 and older, people with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma, those with serious heart conditions, those immunocompromised and anyone with underlying medical conditions like diabetes, liver disease, renal failure and severe obesity. "People who are pregnant should be monitored since they are known to be at risk with severe viral illness, however, to date data on COVID-19 has not shown increased risk," the CDC adds.

Although the elderly are considered at high-risk, experts have warned that young people can still contract the coronavirus. During an appearance on The Daily Show Thursday night, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said young people can still get sick from the virus and it was important for them to practice social distancing too.

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"Even though you are young, you are not absolutely invulnerable, for sure, because we're seeing cases - most of them have some underlying disease - but several don't, who are young people, 30s, 40s, who are getting sick, getting into the hospital, requiring intensive care," Fauci explained. "You can get infected with relatively few symptoms, either symptomatic or mild, relatively trivial symptoms, butt hen you can infect another person, who would then infect a vulnerable person. So you have a responsibility, not only to protect yourself, but you almost have a societal, moral responsibility to protect other people."

Photo credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images