CORAL SPRINGS, FL – Grocery stores are responding to the coronavirus by setting up separate shopping hours for senior citizens and enforcing limits on certain purchases.
Publix said Thursday that starting March 24, people over the age of 65 will be able to shop during a special time from 7 - 8 am on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The food chain also said its pharmacies will open at 7 am on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to serve the older population.
Walmart also announced that it is shifting stores’ operating hours to accommodate older shoppers. “From March 24 through April 28, Walmart stores will host an hour-long senior shopping event every Tuesday for customers aged 60 and older. This will start one hour before the store opens,” according to Dacona Smith, Walmart’s executive vice president and chief operating officer.
In addition, Walmart said purchase limits will be set on paper products, milk, eggs, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, water, diapers, wipes, baby formula, and baby food.
"We know communities are counting on us more than ever and we are determined to serve the broadest number of customers and ensure they have access to the key items they are looking for," said Smith in a memo posted to the company's website.
Fresh Market set up a time for seniors to shop as well.
On weekdays, 8 - 9 am is reserved for seniors and “other individuals most at risk (those with chronic health conditions such as heart disease or diabetes),” the company said on its website.
“We ask that our other guests who do not fall into these categories respect these special hours for those who fall into the higher risk categories as outlined by the CDC, so they can feel more comfortable shopping in our stores,” the announcement said.