Grocers Limit Shoppers In Stores To Slow Spread Of The Coronavirus

Solon resident Cindy Aizen waits in line outside grocery store [Marlene Harris-Taylor / ideastream]
Solon resident Cindy Aizen waits in line outside Trader Joe's in Woodmere. [Marlene Harris-Taylor / ideastream]

Solon resident Cindy Aizen said she didn’t mind having to wait in line outside of Trader Joe’s in Woodmere to do her weekly shopping on Tuesday.

Trader Joe’s and other Cleveland area stores are limiting the number of shoppers inside stores to make it easier for people to maintain proper social distance.

“I think it’s great,” Aizen said.  “I think they are keeping people safe.”

Gov. DeWine announced last week he was extending Ohio’s stay-at-home order through May first. The new order began at 11:59 p.m. Monday, and it included a provision requiring retailers to establish and enforce the number of people that should be inside their businesses at one time.

Trader Joe’s made changes to address growing concerns about keeping shoppers apart in stores to limit the spread of the coronavirus prior to the governor's order, but now all essential businesses must make similar changes.

Giant Eagle is taking steps to follow the order, said spokesperson Jannah Jablonowski. The company announced that every store will be kept at 50 percent the occupancy allowable by the fire code, she said.

 “We’re also going to be dedicating some of our in-store team members to really make sure they are monitoring social distancing practices throughout the store,” said Jablonowski.

“They can answer and address any questions or concerns that our customers may have and step in to provide guidance where needed,” she said.

Giant Eagle has provided plexiglass to separate customers from the cashiers and the store is ordering personal protective equipment like masks and gloves for all employees, said Jablonowski.

The Heinen’s store on Chagrin Blvd. in Shaker Heights is also prepared to keep customers outside if the store gets too crowded.  The store assigned a staff member to count people coming in, so that no more than 100 people were inside at one time, according to a store employee.

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