In an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, and further protect customers and employees, Costco has updated its coronavirus policy and will soon limit the number of shoppers coming into the store starting this Friday, April 3.
Under the new policy, Costco will allow two shoppers per membership card to enter the warehouse at the same time, meaning members can now only bring one guest with them. Previously, not during the current pandemic, members were allowed to bring any children and up to two guests in the warehouse at the same time. Romper has reached out to Costco for further information on how the new policy applies to shoppers with children, but did not receive an immediate response.
The changes have been made out of concern for customer's safety as Costco stores have experienced "a surge of business" as a result of COVID-19. "As a result, we've taken steps to control the number of members in our warehouses and asked that members and employees practice social distancing. We've also reduced some services," Costco President and CEO Craig Jelinek said in a statement.
Ahead of this latest update, Costco's response to the coronavirus outbreak has included pulling free samples, no longer accepting returns on specific items, like toilet paper and bottled water, and putting purchasing limits on high-demand items. Costco has also updated its store hours; Tuesdays and Thursdays, from the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 a.m, are reserved for members who are 60 and older or have physical impairments.
There are now more than 160,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At least 30 states have orders in place for residents to stay home, according to USA Today, but they are allowed to leave their homes to get essential items from essential businesses, such grocery stores.
As customers continue to shop at Costco, the store is asking members to do their part and follow CDC guidelines.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all of Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here, and Bustle’s constantly updated, general “what to know about coronavirus” here.