Early last month, Houston-area grocery stores saw a rush of “panic buying” shoppers that flooded stores, creating long lines and supplies shortages. In response, grocery stores such as the membership-only warehouse club company Costco have implemented new policies to help keep shelves stocked and customers and employees safe.
Costco’s new policies give seniors, first responders and healthcare workers priority access into stores.
First responders such as police officers, EMTs, firefighters and healthcare workers can now cut long lines at Costco stores, according to an April 8 news release. To move to the front of any line, first responders or healthcare workers must present a Costco membership and official identification.
The company has launched special hours for seniors and people with physical impairments. From 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, stores and pharmacies will be open exclusively for seniors 60 years and older. Costco Food Courts will not be open during these hours.
To help enforce social distancing guidelines, the company is limiting the number of customers inside its warehouses. No more than two people are allowed to enter a store at one time, and most stores will now close at 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Costco gas stations also have new hours and will be open 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on weekdays. Stores will be closed on Easter Sunday, April 12.
Rebecca Hennes covers community news. Read her on our breaking news site, Chron.com, and on our subscriber site, houstonchronicle.com. — firstname.lastname@example.org
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