Protecting growing grocery staff through coronavirus pandemic

Your Money Matters

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Many retailers and restaurants are temporarily closing their doors during the coronavirus pandemic, but grocery providers remain an essential service for area families. 
 
In tonight’s Your Money Matters, how you can help keep the growing number of grocery workers safe. 

“From the second week in March when this got started, we have had two orientations every week to bring in as many employees as we can,” South Minnesota Avenue Hy-Vee Store Director Mark Lammers said.

From new employees who were laid off from other industries to high school students now out of school, Hy-Vee stores are continually hiring to try to keep up with the growing demand at their stores.

“Its been a little calmer the last week or so on the main floor, but what you don’t see behind the scenes is Aisles Online is exploding. So we’re re-grouping in that area, adding help to keep up with the demand,” Lammers said.

Hy-Vee also continues to add new measures to help protect their employees throughout the pandemic.

The plexiglass barriers, the sanitizers, all of the things our employees are using right now seem to help our employees relax so they can do their job and enjoy doing their job,” Lammers said.

Shoppers can also help those employees feel safe by following the six-foot distancing guidelines throughout the store. 

“If there are employees working, stocking or doing things in the aisles, just give them space, the same social distancing for the employees,” Lammers said.

“As you approach the checker, respect their distance too, try to stay as far back form them as possible,” Public Health Manager LuAnn Ford with the Sioux Falls Health Department said.

Ford says shoppers can also use self check out lanes or other measures to help limit contact with those employees. 

“When you’re paying you should think about paying with a card because then there’s less of a transfer between the checker,” Ford said.

Paying attention to other simple hygiene guidelines can help these front-line workers continue providing this essential service in KELOLAND. 

“A lot of people I see that they’re wearing masks if they have colds and things and we certainly appreciate that as we work in the public every day,” Lammers said.

There are also many steps you can take to keep you and your family safe while getting groceries. We’ll share more of those steps in Friday night’s Your Money Matters at 10. 

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