The news around the COVID-19 outbreak is constantly changing, but information about food safety and how to keep yourself healthy is crucial right now. Here is a comprehensive list on the foods you should be stocking up on during this period of social distancing, as well as information about your local grocery stores’ changing hours, an explanation of “no-contact delivery,” and a guide on how to help your community and its businesses throughout closures.
As the coronavirus outbreak spreads throughout the U.S., it has continued to touch almost every facet of our lives. Perhaps most noticeably, grocery stores have seen high volumes of shoppers looking to prepare for longer stints at home. The crowds, in addition to guidelines from state and local authorities, have prompted many stores to change their hours to make sure stores can be cleaned and restocked and employees can stay healthy.
Below, we’ve outlined some of the changes in store hours and policies. It’s worth noting that this is a constantly changing situation, so we will update as much as we can, but your local store could be operating differently. It’s always best to check before making a trip.
Finally, you should only be visiting the grocery store if you’re feeling healthy and only if you truly need to. Don’t hoard items and be sure to wash your hands often and wipe down carts and baskets.
The chain’s stores, which include Alberstons, Safeway, Acme, and Vons, will implement hours for “vulnerable shoppers” every Tuesday and Thursday from 7 to 9 a.m., unless otherwise locally mandated. This can vary by location. The store is also implementing social distancing policies. For a full list of stores and policies, click here.
Aldi locations will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. but hours can vary by location. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, stores will open at 8:30 a.m. and reserve the first hour of business for vulnerable shoppers. The store will also limit the number of people inside stores to approximately five customers per 1,000 square feet. Workers are now required to wear masks, and Aldi now offers curbside pickup at around 600 locations.
They will limit the number of members allowed inside clubs at one time and have implemented social distancing policies. All BJ’s locations will also have an “Appreciation Hour” from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. on Sundays for first responders and healthcare workers starting April 19, even if those individuals don’t have a membership. BJ’s is also offering a free four-month Inner Circle membership to all first responders and healthcare workers.
Costco has implemented limits on certain items and has “taken steps to control the number of members in our warehouses,” as well as asked both members and employees to practice social distancing. Most Costco stores in the U.S. have returned to regular operating hours. You can find your local store’s hours here.
Costco is still giving priority to healthcare workers and first responders. Those who present a Costco membership card and work ID will be allowed to move to the front of any line to enter the warehouse.
Costco previously announced it will also not allow more than two people to go into the store with each membership card, but they have eliminated the two-person limit as of May 15. Still, all shoppers who enter the store will have to wear a mask. Some Costco food courts are also offering a limited number of menu items for to-go only and there are plans in the works for bringing back in-store samples in a safe way.
The stores locations have returned to normal operating hours as of May 13. The store is also temporarily suspending product returns. Harris Teeter is also still designating specific times for elders and vulnerable populations. For two hours every Monday and Thursday morning from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. the store will be reserved for these communities. Harris Teeter will designate ExpressLane Online Shopping pick-up times from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for seniors only every Thursday until further notice. You can read more about their policies here.
The chain has updated its store hours in some locations “based on local circumstances.” You can see which stores are affected here. It is also limited how many “cold, flu and sanitary products” customers can get per order and implementing social distancing guidelines. Certain Kroger locations will also have limits on fresh meat, but you should check with your local store. You can brush up on how Kroger locations are making sure shoppers can do so safely here.
Stores will now close at 8 p.m. Select items will also be subject to purchase limits. The chain is designating Tuesday and Wednesday mornings from 7-8 a.m. for customers age 65 and over. They have also reserved Thursday evenings from 8-9 p.m., and Friday mornings, 7-8 a.m., for first responders and healthcare workers.
The grocery chain has also launched contactless payment option at select stores, and customers can also pay through the Publix mobile app so they do not have to come in contact with commonly used surfaces like PIN pads.
Sam’s Club changed its hours to 9 a.m. – 8 p.m., Monday – Saturday. Sunday hours will remain the same, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. for most customers, but the store has also implemented “Hero Shopping Hours” every Sunday from 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. This includes healthcare workers and first responders as well as Sam’s Club associates.
The store has also implemented early shopping hours every Tuesday and Thursday from 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. for seniors and those with disabilities or compromised immune systems.
Stores will begin to close at 9 p.m. and the first hour of shopping each Wednesday will be reserved for “vulnerable guests.” You can read more about it here. The stores has also implemented social distancing measures.
Trader Joe’s has officially announced that all of their stores will be open until 8p.m. every day. The chain previously set its hours of operation to 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Stores also have an additional line outside the front door for senior customers every day between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. so they can get in and out more quickly. Additionally, cleanliness policies and health checks have been implemented for employees that are working.
Stores will be open from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. until further notice. Stores that open later than 7 a.m. will continue their regular opening hours. People 60 and over can also shop one hour before store opening every Tuesday. Stores have also placed limits on items like paper products, milk, eggs, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, water, diapers, wipes, formula, and baby food. It is also implementing social distancing guidelines.
Store locations will see changes to their hours and the chain has also implemented two-item purchase limits on certain products. You can read more about it here.
The company will be adjusting its store hours and will service customers who are 60 and older one hour before opening to the general public. It is also implementing social distancing guidelines. You can read more about it here.
The chain will also reserve the first hour of grocery pickup at for customers 60 years and older, those with disabilities, and those whom the CDC defines as high risk. Whole Foods is also asking that customers wear facial coverings when in the store and will begin providing disposable masks for those who don’t have them.
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