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Kroger caps shopper capacity to limit contact in stores

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - Kroger on Tuesday will implement new restrictions on store capacity to help ensure "distancing" and limit contact among shoppers.

The announcement on Monday explained that the retailer will cap the number of customers at each location at 50 percent of the building code's occupancy limit.

“Kroger’s introduction of customer capacity limits is one more way we are doing our part to flatten the curve while operating as an essential business, providing our customers with access to fresh, affordable food and products,” said Mary Ellen Adcock, Kroger’s senior vice president of operations. “During this national pandemic, we are committed to adopting preventive measures to help protect the safety and health of our associates, customers and communities.”

As an illustration, the standard building capacity for a grocery store is 1 person per 60 square feet. Under Kroger’s new reduced capacity limits, the number will be 1 person per 120 square feet.

Kroger will begin to monitor the number of customers per square foot in its stores using an existing technology, which already provides a count of the customers entering and exiting stores.

The occupancy cap is the latest in a series of COVID-19-related moves, which include:

Protective Face Masks and Gloves for Associates

The Kroger Family of Companies is encouraging associates to wear protective masks and gloves. The retailer has ordered masks for associates nationwide, with supply starting to arrive in select regions and the anticipation of all locations having supply by the end of this week.

Associate Wellness Checks

The Kroger Family of Companies is asking associates to closely monitor their health and take their temperature at home prior to coming to work. If they experience symptoms, including a fever, they are encouraged to contact their health care provider and stay home. Under its expanded COVID-19 emergency leave guidelines, associates self-isolating or experiencing symptoms as verified by an health care professional are eligible to receive their standard pay for up to two weeks (14 days).

The retailer started testing temperature checks in its distribution centers several weeks ago and is beginning to expand associate temperature checks to stores. Kroger and its affiliates are following local ordinances in cities or counties that mandate employee temperature checks, and associates may also request to have their temperature taken at work.

Piloting One-Way Aisles in Select Markets

The Kroger Family of Companies has started to test one-way aisles in select markets to determine its effectiveness as a measure to further support physical distancing.

Waived Prescription Delivery Fees

The Kroger Family of Pharmacies is temporarily waiving fees for prescription delivery via mail or courier. To learn more about the options and availability, customers should contact their local pharmacy location.

Continuing Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Commitment

As part of Kroger’s commitment to end hunger and eliminate waste in its communities by 2025, the retailer continues to allow its customers to use reusable shopping bags, provided there is not a state or local ordinance that prohibits use. The retailer encourages its customers to frequently clean and wipe down their reusable shopping bags to help maintain a safe shopping environment.

Reduced Holiday Hours

The Kroger Family of Companies is closing early on Easter Sunday, April 12, to provide its associates with more time to rest and be with their families. Holiday operating hours will vary by location and market.

Jonathan Shelley

Jonathan Shelley is the news director at WPTA TV, which he joined in 2016 following nine years in a similar role in New Orleans and previous news management positions in Oklahoma City and Las Vegas.

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