Grocery stores taking measures to keep staff and customers safe


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Grocery stores across the state, and in East Tennessee are enhancing their cleaning and sanitation procedures in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chains like Kroger and Food City have implemented such as installing plexiglass in checkout lines, sanitizing carts throughout the day, and taking extra measures to encourage social distancing.

Stores reminding customers to practice social distancing

Both stores run announcements periodically throughout the day to remind customers to practice social distancing, and have decals on the floor to promote keeping people six feet away from each other–per CDC social distancing guidelines.

Steve Smith, a spokesperson for Food City, says their stores have allotted time for elderly people or those with pre-existing conditions to specifically shop from 7-8 a.m., and have assigned an employee to the front of the store in charge of cleaning and sanitizing carts for guests.

The chain is also working on procuring face masks, and encourage their staff to wear them to stay safe while working.

Limiting customers in stores

Melissa Eads, a spokesperson for Kroger, says the chain is limiting the capacity in each of their stores to 50% of each building code’s capacity–with the help of technology.

“It provides a count of customers exiting and entering the stores,” Eads says, “There’s monitors in the store that we watch and that we have associates assigned to keep an eye on. It will alert us when we are nearing that 50% capacity.”

Tips for shoppers

During these unprecedented times, both Smith and Eads ask people to continue their patience, especially when it comes to keeping high-demand products like toilet paper and produce (a popular item in Food City being eggs) and for people to only buy what they need right now.

Eads also encourages people to be mindful of your space compared to others while shopping in stores, and to send one person per family to shop, helping keeping that crucial social distance.

“If everybody could just be aware of there surroundings, and help us as it comes to this social distancing, because we are focused on keeping our stores opened and stocked and cleaned and ready for our customers” Eads notes, “We ask for help and assistance in social distancing.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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