We know that people in our community are rightfully concerned about COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, and we take the health of our shoppers and staff seriously.
We already have many procedures in place to reduce the spread of foodborne illness and seasonal colds and flu every year. These include safe food handling procedures, cleaning and sanitation protocols, and training.
In addition, here are some extra steps we have taken to keep our co-op healthy.
- We’ve stepped up how often we sanitize frequently touched surfaces, including freezer and cooler door handles, shopping cart handles, tables and chairs, bathrooms, counters, and keypads.
- We have closed our deli seating and discontinued our hot soup and beverage offerings. We are focusing on preparing more packaged soups, sandwiches, salads, breakfast burritos and desserts for you to enjoy at home.
- We have temporarily discontinued our Co+op Explorers free fruit program. (This program allows children to eat a piece of fruit while their parents shop.)
- We have temporarily removed testers from our Wellness aisle.
- We have temporarily discontinued our sampling program.
- We are reminding employees to be vigilant about proper handwashing and to do it often.
- As always, we are asking anyone with cold or flu symptoms to stay home. Our employees do earn paid time off to use for sick leave or vacation.
Unfortunately, we have been forced to close our bathrooms to the general public. We must conserve toilet paper and cleaning supplies to maintain sanitary conditions for our employees. Employee cleanliness is vital to ensuring proper food handling and the safety of our shoppers.
Many items remain out of stock, including hand sanitizer, household cleaners, toilet paper and some bulk foods. There are widespread shortages of these items, but we are continuing to order them and will get them back on the shelves as soon as possible.
Shortages of our regular cleaning products mean that we must use some that contain chemicals we wouldn’t normally employ, such as chlorine bleach. We know that some of our shoppers are sensitive to fragrances, and many of these products are scented. We want to assure you that we will return to our usual cleaning supplies as soon as we can get them. In the meantime, we are making sure to use only products approved by the CDC as effective against viruses.
Please know that we are closely monitoring the situation and are following instructions and recommendations issued by public health authorities and government agencies. We will continue to provide information and updates about our COVID-19 response on this blog.
Here are some sources for up-to-date, accurate information on the coronavirus.