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Stores ramp up safety measures amid COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 2:08 AM, Apr 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-10 16:42:46-04

Even with shelter-in-place directives, many people have no choice but to leave their homes for essential errands.

In the meantime, stores are ramping up safety measures to not only protect their employees, but also their customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chances are your shopping experience has changed a lot during the last few weeks.

"Cashiers are sanitizing frequently on the belts, and on the customer side, you know, we're doing, you know, social distancing," explained Adam Lowther, marketing project manager for Brookshire Brothers.

Lowther said his Brookshire Brothers team is taking precautions to help contain the spread of COVID-19.

"We installed sneeze guards in all of our locations," said Lowther. "We have a dedicated person in most stores, especially the one there in Salado, just basically sanitizing the carts. People are coming through. There's a guy going around to all the produce coolers and the freezers and he's sanitizing all the handles."

Also considered an "essential business," Mylene Domanite, owner of Queen Liquor Store in Killeen, said they are now covering their faces and wearing gloves.

"Use bleach and water because I'm one of those people that's high risk also," said Domanite. "I'm 56 and have high blood pressure so pretty much I do all of the cleaning myself."

But what measures can you take when you get to the cash register?

"Specific to money, we know that the coronaviurs could live on any surface, so including paper or money that is possible," said Karen Percell, Executive Director for Quality at AdventHealth Central Texas. "But it's really about still doing good hand hygiene. The coronavirus is most dangerous when it has something to travel on."

As the Director of Quality for AdventHealth Central Texas, Parcell oversees infection control for the entire hospital.

"So that's why we're wearing masks in public and we're being careful with our coughs and our sneezes, and we're being cautious about how close we are to people," added Percell.

CDC representatives report when it comes to running essential errands, you should stay home if you are sick, order online when you can and protect yourself while shopping.

The health experts also say you should use hand sanitizer when you leave the store and wash your hands once you get home.