Grocery stores moved to protect shoppers

By LIZZY VILLA – For the first few weeks of home quarantine, the grocery stores carried on as usual. A few weeks later Pennsylvania mandated shoppers wear masks, and stores limited the number shoppers and the direction they could walk in the store.

The numbers vary from store to store. Many people who are in grocery stores decided to add gloves to their ‘grocery store outfit’. Gloves seemed smart because the Coronavirus is spread from droplets created by an infected persons’ sneezes, coughs, etc. When people wear gloves, they prevent the droplets from getting on their skin. The grocery stores also  taped off spaces to show where to wait in line for the checkout. The workers in the checkout lines also wear masks, so the social element of the checkout is gone. 

 On the Giant Eagle website, they have posted what they are doing as a life-sustaining company to keep the coronavirus from spreading. On April 13, 2020 the website stated ‘In our efforts to maintain the highest levels of sanitization throughout our facilities, we have created new and improved safety measures; occupancy Limits: Giant Eagle is limiting the number of customers in a store at one time to ensure proper social distancing measures are taken. The new maximum occupancy will be posted near all supermarkets and GetGo entrances. One-Way Grocery Aisles: one-way directional signage will be added on the floor in each aisle of our supermarkets to indicate the flow of traffic and help guests maintain social distance. Personal Protective Equipment: to ensure the safety of our entire community, Giant Eagle has provided Personal Protective Equipment – masks and gloves – to all Team Members.’

MARTINS and Walmart took similar precautions.  MARTINS also limited the number of people. A worker was stationed at the door to monitor the flow of people. The number varied to the store space and occupancy of the store. When the storereached the limit, people were asked to line up at the door, using social distancing. People were allowed in as others left.

At Walmart, store associates were stationed to clean high-touch areas, like checkouts and carts, daily. There are sneeze guards in the pharmacy, register lanes, and floor decals at both entrances and checkouts. There is one designated entrance and designated exit, to maintain social distancing. The people allows in are no more than five people per 1,000 feet at any given time. That’s roughly 20% of the store’s capacity.

Students’ opinions vary on masks. 

Ella Fleming (7th) believes that, “It is a good idea; it will help prevent spreading the virus. It’s necessary. And they are fun to sew when bored. (Highly recommended).”

However, Bella Ball (6th) commented, “It is a good idea, but it won’t make any difference.”

“It is a good idea; it will help prevent spreading the virus. My family and I usually wear masks outside the house,” said Catie Akers (8th)

The grocery stores have made many adjustments and new rules that they hope will stop the spread of coronavirus. Will it be enough? Only time will tell. But it’s nice to know that they are trying to help us stay comfortable and healthy when shopping. 

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