What are you doing to keep your supermarkets clean/safe during the COVID-19 outbreak? Our stores are undergoing daily deep cleaning procedures that follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended protocols as well as our own enhanced environmental cleaning and disinfecting guidelines. In addition, the store’s food contact surfaces are cleaned and sanitized regularly and the store follows a routine of frequent, thorough cleaning of public areas, restrooms, and high-touch places such as conveyor belts, credit card keypads and shopping carts. All associates are trained to follow industry recommended hygiene protocols that include regular hand washing. We have also adopted in store safety measures that promote social distancing, as well as practices to help protect both our customers and associates. We closely follow all state mandates and CDC guidelines, and as new recommendations are shared, we’re doing our best to adapt and respond to the changing circumstances.
What social distancing measures are your stores taking? Social distancing is a CDC recommended best practice that will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. Our stores are promoting social distancing in a number of ways, including:
- We’ve put up plexiglass shields at our checkout lanes, customer service desks and pharmacies to provide a measure of protection to our associates and customers.
- Floor markings and decals consisting of arrows and basic mark-ups to remind people to stay six feet apart when moving about the store or standing online at check-out.
- Stores have also reduced their capacity limits to prevent overcrowding and are monitoring the flow of customers in to the store.
- Associates and customers are required to wear face coverings.
Do your associates have to wear face coverings? Yes, based on the latest CDC guidelines, we are requiring our associates to wear face coverings.
Do customers have to wear masks or face coverings? The latest CDC recommendations advise the use of cloth face coverings or masks to help slow the spread of the virus. Currently, orders issued in the states of NJ, NY, PA, MD, CT and Revere, MA mandate that all customers wear a face covering while shopping. Please make sure you bring your own to wear next time you visit our store. A bandanna or scarf works in a pinch.
Why do I have to wear a face covering to shop at your store? Executive Orders in the states our stores operate in mandate that all customers wear a cloth face covering while visiting an essential retail business, including supermarkets, in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The only exemptions are for individuals where wearing a face covering would “inhibit the individual’s health” or the individual is under two years of age. Customers may wear any kind they choose, including single-use masks or homemade or purchased cloth face coverings, made from bandannas and scarves. Cloth face coverings must fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face, be secured with ties or ear loops, include multiple layers of fabric, allow for breathing without restriction and be able to be laundered and machine-dried without damage or change to shape.
Will ShopRite/Price Rite Marketplace/The Fresh Grocer/Dearborn Market give me a face covering when I get to the store? Unfortunately, we are unable to do that. Please come to the store with your own face covering, which may include a scarf or bandanna that fits snugly, but comfortably against the side of your face, and is secured with ties or ear loops.
What will you do when/if a store associate has a confirmed case of COVID-19? Our stores are prepared and we have implemented the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended protocol to reduce the spread of the virus. In the event of a confirmed case of coronavirus, stores are trained to take the following steps:
- Making sure the diagnosed associate is no longer in the workplace.
- Notifying colleagues who may have been in close contact with the affected associate.
- Implementing deep cleaning procedures including sanitizing all workspaces used by the associate and common areas including high-touch areas throughout the store.
- Promoting social distancing by reducing store occupancy to prevent crowding.
- Placing plexiglass shields by registers to provide a measure of protection to our associates and customers.
- Ensuring all store associates wear face coverings.
- Implementing a temperature monitoring program that checks the temperatures of all associates and vendors as they arrive for work.
Will the store remain open now that one of your associates has been diagnosed with COVID-19? Unless we are otherwise instructed by the CDC or other state/local health department, the store will remain open. Our store is prepared and has implemented the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended protocols to reduce the spread of the virus.
Can you tell me the name, age, gender or which department the associate worked in? I am concerned that I may have been exposed. No, we cannot. Federal law prohibits the disclosure of personal health information, so we are unable to release the name of the associate, the department in which they work, or any information about the associate’s health status to the public. When we become aware of an associate with a confirmed case, we will work with the local department of health and follow their guidance which may include notification to the public. Any associate who has a confirmed case of COVID-19 cannot return to work until they have been cleared by their healthcare provider to do so.
Will you notify the public if/when an associate is diagnosed with COVID-19? Our stores follow a notification protocol when an associate is diagnosed with COVID-19. When an associate has a confirmed case of COVID-19, our protocol requires us to notify our local department of health. We will follow their direction and guidance regarding public notification. We then notify all of the store associates that a colleague has been diagnosed. If the DOH allows, once all associates have been notified, will we notify customers through the store’s social media page.
Are store employees being tested for COVID-19? We have not been advised by the CDC or department of health to test our associates. As part of our regular Human Resources policies, we advise all associates who become ill to stay home and consult with their doctor. Their doctors will determine the course of action, including testing. We are however, implementing a temperature monitoring process to check the temperatures of all associates and vendors as they arrive for work every day. Since a fever is one of the symptoms of COVID-19, those associates or third-party vendors whose temperatures are above 100.0 F will be asked not to enter the facility, return home and not return to work until the fever subsides for at least 24 hours without the use of medicine that reduces fevers, and have no other symptoms of COVID-19.
Do store employees wear gloves when they handle food? Store associates who work in our food service departments including our deli, prepared foods, meat, seafood and bakery departments are trained to follow current FDA Food Code standards, which include wearing gloves when handling food and engaging in other state-mandated food safety and sanitizing procedures.