CHICAGO (CBS) — In an effort to protect employees and customers from the spread of the novel coronavirus, Jewel-Osco stores have begun installing plastic 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.READ MORE: U.S. Attorney John Lausch To Keep Job As Chicago's Top Federal Prosecutor
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 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.READ MORE: Marquette University Plans To Hold Vast Majority Of Classes In Person This Fall
“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.
All Jewel-Osco employees also are being directed to wash their hands frequently, and to stay home if they feel sick.MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: March In Like A Lamb
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.