Humboldt grocery stores adapt to pandemic

HUMBOLDT— Humboldt’s three grocery stores are adapting to the pandemic.

Humboldt Co-op

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As of March 23, the Humboldt Co-op has set a requirement limiting one person per family when entering their stores, and has asked the customers to keep a social distance of two metres between themselves and anyone else in the building.

This requirement results in only one person being at the checkout at a time, so the distance can be maintained.

Brent Walker, the co-op’s general manager, is recommending card tap to pay for purchases. The second best option is card insertion, with pin and chip. Cash will still be accepted at the present time.

At the C-Store, fuel customers are recommended to pay at the pump.

“As a team, we have and continue to develop safe ways of handling the interactions between our team members and our guests,” Walker said, in a release. “Understandably, some of these new processes are inconvenient, however, essential to combat the virus COVID-19.”

The Humboldt food store has free grocery delivery service Monday to Friday for seniors, people with disabilities, or people that are vulnerable.  This service is also available in Lanigan on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Both food stores have opened their locations an hour for seniors and people that are vulnerable. This hour is Monday to Friday at 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. in Humboldt, and Monday to Friday at 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. in Lanigan.

The co-op discontinued the use of reusable bags at their locations. Everything will be packed in plastic bags.

The co-op has set a requirement that there can be no more than 50 people at one time in their Humboldt food store, 20 in their Lanigan food store and five in their C-Store.

Self-serve items like coffee, soup and slush drinks have been eliminated indefinitely.

The co-op stated that they are looking at several other options to reduce the risk of spreading the virus, so more process changes could be coming in the future.

The Humboldt Co-op food store can be reached at 306-682-2634.

Terry’s No Frills

Terry’s No Frills is opening an hour early each day, at 7 a.m., to dedicate time for shopping to community members who have compromised immune systems as well as the elderly.

To reduce the use of cash, the store is encouraging customers to use MasterCard or debit for purchases, and have also temporarily started accepting Visa.

The store has implemented a limit of 50 people allowed in their store at any given time.

They’re urging customers, that if they can, to come alone shopping and keep their family at home isolated.

“Please do not linger in our store. We stress if you are sick, please stay home and get a family member outside your household, neighbor or friend to grab items needed and leave them outside your house,” Terry’s No Frills said in a Facebook post.

“Please be respectful of social distancing within our store. Try to keep a safe distance so we can try [to] help curve the spread of COVID-19.”

Terry’s No Frills can be reached at 306-682-8331.

Sobeys

As of March 23, the Humboldt Sobeys has changed the hours of operation, closing at 8 p.m. instead of 10 p.m. The first hour of each day, from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m., serves to allow seniors and people who are vulnerable to shop. This is available seven days a week.

The location has begun taking orders over the phone from those who are elderly or people who are vulnerable.

David Doepker, general manager with Sobeys, asked that people who are not a senior or vulnerable to not use this service, as it is labour intensive with their number of employees.

“We have an employee who will take the order over the phone, then we take it, process it, and we package it up, and then when they come to the door we put it in their car, so they don’t have to get out of their vehicle.”

Customers are asked to come one to a time, and not bring additional family members when they shop. There is no limit to how many people are allowed in their store, beyond government regulations.

A handwash station has been ordered to be placed in the store for customers to use as they enter.

Plexiglas visors are expected to be installed within the week. The visor will separate the cashier and customer.

Customers are recommended to pay with debit or MasterCard.

Tape has been used on the location’s floor to remind people of social distancing, and customers are asked to maintain a two metre distance from others.

“Be careful out there, stay safe,” Doepker said.

“As long as people aren’t following the rules it’s just going to extend it.”

Humboldt Sobeys can be reached at 306-682-2130.

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