Many Baton Rouge area grocery stores recently implemented several changes regarding cleanliness and accessibility in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Most large supermarkets including Walmart, Albertsons and Rouses have modified their hours of operation until further notice.
Whole Foods Markets nationwide are closing two hours early in order to give employees ample time to restock shelves, sanitize and prepare for the next day. Their Corporate Blvd. location closes at 8 p.m. daily.
Whole Foods, along with several other stores, are offering special shopping hours for seniors. Customers who are over the age of 60 can shop one hour before the store opens to the general public every day, because the elderly are considered to be at higher risk of the virus.
Similarly, as of March 15, Walmart superstores have dedicated one hour every Tuesday morning to those over the age of 60. The “senior shopping hour” is held one hour before opening to the general public.
In the latest statement posted to its website, Rouses Market says it continues to follow guidelines and directives from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention. The supermarket increased cleaning and sanitizing procedures.
At the Rouses located at Arlington Creek, an employee stands near the exit to provide shoppers with sanitary wipes.
Human sciences and education junior Schoen Jones said he appreciates the extra precautions he’s seen throughout the store.
“I think everyone is a little nervous to leave the house right now,” Jones said. “But it’s nice to see the grocery store doing things like handing out wipes, placing hand sanitizer throughout the store and putting tape on the floor to remind people to stay 6 feet apart.”
Rouses placed tape on the floor around the registers to remind shoppers to keep a safe distance apart from one another.
In addition to placing social distancing guides throughout their locations, Walmart started installing sneeze guards in all of its locations, according to a post on its website. The sneeze guards are to be installed at store pharmacies and register lanes over the course of the next two to three weeks.
Walmart and Target offer free grocery pick-up through their apps. Albertsons and Rouses also offer grocery delivery and pick-up options.