'Everyone’s been stepping up:' Grocers remain open as deemed critical to health, welfare

SEATTLE – Governor Jay Inslee’s order to stay at home doesn’t mean you cannot go out and get what you need.

People are assured they can still see doctors, get prescription drugs refilled and hit the grocery store for necessities.

Those working in our neighborhood supermarkets are considered part of our critical infrastructure, and are still on-the-job to keep the rest of us fed.

Officials insist the food supply chain is solid, and advise the public not to hoard, rather suggesting we shop in a normal fashion.

Nickalos Braun is now one of the few people allowed to continue working during our state’s unprecedented order to stay home. Lucky for him, grocery stores are considered vital – so they’re staying open.

“Everyone’s been stepping up,” he said. “They say tough times don’t last but tough people do, and I think that holds true.”

For weeks, crews have been cleaning, re-cleaning and cleaning again at a QFC in Kirkland. Employees are doing what they can to make sure the surfaces touched repeatedly by strangers are virus-free.

“They’re on the front lines working with the public day in and day out now knowing if they’re going to be infected or exposed,” said Tiffany Sanders from QFC. “We’re doing everything we can to make sure associates are safe as well as our customers.”

Kroger, the company who runs QFC, is installing plexiglass guards at checkouts in stores across the country and to a store near you soon. Customers are also being instructed to stand 6-feet apart, especially at checkout.

For customers with health issues who don’t want to venture inside, QFC says on-line ordering is becoming popular.

The company says it still needs people to fill both part and full-time job openings as grocery stores across Puget Sound will continue to be a vital connection for families during the coronavirus crisis.

“We’re doing our best to get those trucks rolling in, shipments on the shelves so people can buy the things we need,” said Sanders.