MEDFORD, Ore. -- Grocery stores are one of the few places still open during the coronavirus pandemic. People in the at-risk group for the virus are nervous about going.
Albertsons and Safeway heard those concerns and designated four hours a week for the at-risk group. All Albertsons and Safeway stores will reserve at least the hours from 7 to 9 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday for these vulnerable shoppers to get what they need, although local stores may determine other hours.
"Across Albertsons Companies 2,200+ stores nation-wide, we know that some of our most vulnerable neighbors are senior citizens and other at-risk populations, such as pregnant women or those with compromised immune systems, who have been advised to avoid leaving home as much as possible," the company said in a statement.
Thursday, NewsWatch 12 went during the at-risk shopping time to see what people thought about the changes.
"Well being an older person with medical issues it's nice to not have a crowded store," said Eileen Mace, one of the shoppers.
"Going to be open 7:00 am for seniors and those with, you know . . . they are prone to catch things." said Kathy Train.
The CDC says people 65 or older, or with underlying health problems are at risk of having a severe illness from the coronavirus. This new option is to help people feel more comfortable going into the stores.
"We are asking that our customers help us reserve this shopping time for those most at-risk in our communities," Albertsons Companies said this week. "We thank our customers in advance for their compassion and understanding toward their neighbors and friends, and in helping us maintain this temporary operations guideline."
"I was pleased. I was very pleased, because . . . you just kind of are afraid to go out of their house." said Mace.
"I appreciate it so much that they do this, because otherwise on other hours you go in the store and they are really crowded." said Train.
The people NewsWatch 12 talked to could not be more grateful to have a time just for them to get what they need. Store hours will be updated on the Albertsons and Safeway websites, where you can find a local store location for more specific information.
To help ensure that the most at-risk members of our community who must leave home to obtain groceries are taken care of, we are reserving hours for them Tuesdays & Thursdays. Check with your local store for specific times.https://t.co/nztD8qfCyA
— Albertsons Companies (@AlbertsonsCos) March 17, 2020