Point Loma

Increased Sanitation and Social Distancing Inside San Diego Supermarkets

Grocery chain stores and independent markets are increasing their sanitation and implementing social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Within the last several days many grocery store chains and independent supermarkets have changed the way they operate due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stores across San Diego County are facing large crowds and are adding new procedures to keep surfaces sanitary.

Inside Ralph's customers are forming one big line rather than having lots of people gather closely around the cash registers.

At Stump's Family Marketplace surfaces are getting cleaned from credit card machines, to conveyor belts, and even grocery store carts.

Inside supermarkets guests are starting to find hand wipes and hand sanitizer to use while shopping.

"I think safety first," said customer Wanda Tarnok. "After we get in and we unpack our groceries we go back and we wash our hands, so we do a lot more hand washing and try to stay away from groups."

Many stores are asking that all sales be final, this way stores don't take any risks accepting a return that may be contaminated.

"Even though it's still busy that cashier needs to shut down for a few minutes wash their hands, clean their check stand and move on," said Todd Walters the President of UFCW Local. "And I hope the public would understand what they're doing."

Through video chat, Walters, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers union, said they are increasing staffing across grocery stores by hiring workers from industries that were laid off.

Right now they are heroes in our community.

Todd Walters

"It's important that our stores not just get staffed for today, but they're staffed for next week, the week after that, and maybe even next month," said Walters.

Walters asks customers to be patient and courteous to workers.

"Right now they are heroes in our community," he said. "It's not their fault shelves are empty and there are limited supplies."

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