Two Minnesota-based grocers, Target and Lunds & Byerlys, have taken steps to assure the safety of the elderly and immunocompromised during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Although the coronavirus is statistically unlikely to kill young people, the elderly or those with underlying immune system deficiencies may face difficulty fighting off the virus. For this reason, individuals in these groups are advised by the CDC to take extra precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as avoiding spaces with large numbers of potential virus-carriers. This makes going to the grocery store a risky activity.
In light of this, Target and Byerlys have both set aside time each week for these high-risk individuals to safely shop for groceries and get priority when buying essential items.
Target announced its plan to “reserve the first hour of shopping each Wednesday to support vulnerable guests, including the elderly and those with underlying health concerns,” on Tuesday.
We’re so proud of our Target teams working to keep stores open for guests during this challenging time. Read about our latest efforts, including new reduced store hours to add time for cleaning & restocking, & dedicated shopping time for vulnerable guests: https://t.co/8sAyrJ9e56
— Target (@Target) March 17, 2020
Byerlys has also set aside the first hour of shopping each day for “older adults and those who have compromised immune systems,” according to a recent press release. “Our intent is to provide an opportunity for those individuals to be the first to shop after our overnight cleaning and stocking so they have increased access to essential products,” says the company.
Hours Change: All L&B stores are now open from 7 am-9 pm daily. We are asking customers to respect our request of having the opening hour of 7-8 am each day reserved for shoppers who are at a higher risk of severe illness by COVID-19. More info here: https://t.co/GpNj2AV4Zu
— Lunds & Byerlys (@LundsandByerlys) March 16, 2020
These two popular Minnesota retailers aren’t the only ones looking out for the state’s vulnerable populations. Examples abound of ordinary people and small communities across the state acting in the best interest of the elderly.
Citizens of Jordan, Minnesota, have instituted a program that pairs the elderly and immunocompromised with volunteers who can complete errands and fetch food and other supplies.
Fox 10 also released a touching story earlier this week about a man who has been keeping his father company through the window of his nursing home, despite a newly-instituted no visitation policy designed to keep residents safe from the virus.
Target has announced plans to support its employees during this difficult time as well. The company says that “back-up [child] care will be available to all,” given recent school and daycare closures. It has also increased the availability of benefits for employees who are unable to make it to work.
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