Grocery stores focus on safety of employees and customers during coronavirus pandemic

While many businesses are closing doors due to coronavirus concerns, grocery stores remain open with a focus on keeping both customers and employees safe.

Whether it’s neighborhood grocery stores or national chains, employees are working to keep everything as clean as possible.

At Albertsons and Safeway Grocery Stores that means regular cleaning.

Karl Schroeder is the President of the Seattle Division Albertsons and Safeways. He says employees are using hand sanitizer after every checkout and washing their hands every hour. He also says checkout counters are cleaned at least every hour.

Schroeder says they are also closing 24-hour stores, for several hours a night, for cleaning purposes.

“A sense of pride has come out in a lot of our employees. They feel they are on the front lines of helping communities,” said Schroeder.

Schroeder says they will pay employees who get the coronavirus, or are put on quarantine. He also says they are working with employees to make sure they feel as comfortable as possible at work.

At smaller grocery stores, they are making similar efforts for both staff and customers.

“I think it instill the trust in our community that we are doing the right thing,” said Paul Wilcox.

Wilcox is the manager of Leschi Market in Seattle.

The grocery store recently closed its doors for a few days because an employee tested positive for coronavirus, Wilcox said.

During the closure, they did a thorough cleaning of the entire store. Now, Leschi Market is back open and Wilcox says they are making sure to keep things as safe as possible for customers.

He says they are leaving their doors open, to limit the amount of times people touch door handles. He also says they are wiping down shopping carts, and each counter has hand sanitizer and gloves for anyone that needs them.

A staple in the community for decades, Wilcox says Leschi Market is more than just a grocery store to its customers.

“I can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard comments of people say we’re so thankful you’re here,” said Wilcox.

Wilcox says during the two days the store was closed, they were able to provide employees with pay. He also says any employees who are uncomfortable coming into work, have job security for when they are ready to come back.