As concerns over coronavirus sparked massive crowds at grocery stores around the country, some retailers have moved to take action in an effort to spare those more vulnerable to the virus from large gatherings of people. Across the United States, a number of stores have dedicated shopping hours for seniors and other vulnerable or immunocompromised customers.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has noted that early data shows "older adults" and people with serious chronic medical conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease have a higher risk of becoming severely ill from coronavirus. As a result, the federal agency has urged those considered most at risk to, among other things, "avoid crowds as much as possible" and "limit close contact" with others when they do have to go out in public.
But when supermarkets and other food retailers quickly became overcrowded due to coronavirus concerns, it became clear that avoiding crowds would be easier said than done for many seniors and immunocompromised individuals. That's when some began urging retailers to set aside a few shopping hours each day, when only their more vulnerable customers could shop.
One of the first people to advocate for dedicated shopping hours was celebrity chef José Andrés. He urged grocery stores to allocate two hours a day for people age 60 and over to shop without hoards of other customers. "Supermarkets should open early mornings for 2 hours for elderly above 60, to protect them from contact with younger people," Andrés tweeted Sunday. "Also volunteer system for shopping and delivery should be implemented."
Here are some of the stores that have since dedicated special shopping hours to senior citizens and immunocompromised individuals: