CHICAGO (CBS) — In an effort to protect employees and customers from the spread of the novel coronavirus, Jewel-Osco stores have begun installing plexiglass sneeze guards at cash registers, service desks, pharmacy checkout counters, and Starbucks terminals.

Jewel-Osco also is using tape on the floor of checkout lanes, pharmacy counters, customer service desks, and “fresh departments” — deli, meat, produce, and bakery areas — to mark off “social distancing” for customers, so they can stay six feet away from other people while waiting in line.

The grocery chain said it also will install signs encouraging people to stay six feet away, or “two carts apart,” from other shoppers. Stores also will make announcements over their public address systems.

Jewel-Osco stores are using tape markers on the floor to designate six-foot separation for customers as they wait in lines. (Source: Jewel-Osco)

Jewel-Osco said it also is suspending self-service operations such as soup and salad bars, and hot food stations; stepping up cleaning and disinfecting of all departments, restrooms, and other high-touch points in stores; deep cleaning stores daily; and offering cart wipes and hand sanitizer stations throughout it stores.

“We recognize that we provide an essential service to our communities and we are doing everything we can to provide a safe, secure and comfortable shopping space for our valued customers and our associates.,” said Mike Withers, President of Jewel-Osco.

Jewel-Osco stores have installed plexiglass sneeze guards at checkout lanes, customer service desks, and other areas of the store to help protect customers and employees from the spread of the coronavirus. (Source: Jewel-Osco)

All Jewel-Osco employees also are being directed to wash their hands frequently, and to stay home if they feel sick.

The company earlier announced it was designating special hours for seniors and others who are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 to shop with fewer customers in stores on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Jewel-Osco is asking non-seniors and other shoppers who are not at heightened risk of contracting the virus to avoid shopping during those times.