VA, DC Coronavirus: Special Grocery Shopping Hours For Seniors

Deb Belt

This article originally appeared on the Vienna Patch

WASHINGTON, DC — Grocery stores across northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., are setting aside special hours for shoppers who may be more vulnerable during the new coronavirus pandemic. In some cases, these at-risk customers will have an hour to shop without others in the store.

Those who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 are older adults and people with underlying medical conditions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

These are the stores that have designated hours or special services for at-risk populations.

Know of other stores offering special hours for those at greater risk? Add them in the comments!

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ALDI: Stores are now open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Some stores may have limited hours to accommodate restocking and cleaning.

BJ's: All BJ's Wholesale Club locations will begin opening one hour early every day for members who are age 60 or older. This special opening hour will be from 8-9 a.m. daily and there will be a designated entrance for them to use.

Costco: Limits have been implemented on certain items, controlling the number of members in warehouses and reduced some services.

Dollar General: The first hour the store is open will be designated for senior shoppers. Hours vary by location.

Giant: Those over 60 and with compromised immune systems can shop from 6 to 7 a.m. daily.

Lidl: As of Monday, all stores will open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. until further notice. This temporary change in store hours will give team members extra time to restock shelves, clean stores and recharge during these busy times. The company said it will return to its regular hours as soon as it can.

Safeway: Seniors, pregnant women, at-risk populations and those with compromised immune systems can shop from 7 to 9 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday.

Sam's Club: All club opening hours are now 9 a.m. until 8 p.m., Monday - Saturday. On Sunday, hours will remain 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Pre-scheduled Club Pickup orders will still be available for pickup starting at 7 a.m. The Tire and Battery Center hours will move to 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday - Saturday until further notice. If a member has an existing appointment, that appointment time stands. Optical, Pharmacy and Fuel hours remain the same.

Save A Lot: Many stores are dedicating the first hour of shopping to seniors. People should call their store to verify.

Target: All stores will close at 9 p.m. local time to allow more time for teams to clean and restock store shelves. Target will reserve the first hour of shopping each Wednesday at stores nationwide for vulnerable guests – including those over 65-years-old, pregnant women or those defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as vulnerable or at-risk.

Trader Joe's: Seniors will have a separate line to get into the store for expedited entry from 9 to 10 a.m.

Walgreens: Stores will open from 8 to 9 a.m. Tuesdays starting March 24 for seniors, their caregivers and family members of seniors. Those 55 and up will get the senior day discount on Tuesdays, which is 20 percent off regular-price national brands and 30 percent off regular-price Walgreens brands.

Walmart: Special senior shopping hours for those 60 and older will be offered from 6 to 7 a.m. Tuesdays from March 24 to April 28. Pharmacies and vision centers will be open.

Wegmans: Maryland and Virginia stores are now open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The chain does not have special early-morning hours for those who are older or have health issues. The grocer said: "Our stores are continually being cleaned and sanitized – we feel they are clean all the time, not solely when they open. We do not believe putting an entire population of highly susceptible people together in one location, at one time is a good idea." Supplies arrive throughout the day, so stock is not necessarily available at any certain hour, Wegmans said.

Whole Foods: One hour before stores open to the public, those 6o and up will be able to shop.

Here is the latest guidance about who is at greatest risk from COVID-19, updated Sunday by the CDC:

  • Ages 65 and older
  • Nursing home or long-term care facility residents
  • Those with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
  • Those with heart disease with complications
  • The immunocompromised — including people undergoing cancer treatment, those who have had bone marrow or organ transplants, people with poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, or those who have used cortisteorids or other immune-weakening medications over a long period of time
  • Anyone with severe obesity (body mass index greater than 40) or underlying medical conditions, especially if they are not controlled, such as diabetes, liver disease or renal failure

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