ELKO — Smith’s Food and Drug Store has enhanced its daily santitation practices and is installing plexiglass partitions at many cash registers to further promote physical distancing.
“We’ve let our associates know that they are permitted to wear protective masks and gloves,” the company announced this week. Smith’s is advocating to government officials at all levels for help securing a priority place in line for all grocery workers — after health care workers — to have access to protective masks and gloves.
“We continue to enhance our daily sanitation practices, including cleaning commonly used areas including cashier stations, self-checkouts, credit card terminals, food service counters, and shelves,” said the announcement.
The stores expect to have partitions installed at every check lane, including pharmacy counters and Starbucks registers, by the end of next week.
“In addition, we are installing educational floor decals to promote physical distancing at check lanes and other counters.”
Smith’s, a member of The Kroger Company, has adjusted store operating hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to allow more time for associates to rest, clean and replenish inventory.
Kroger has enacted Emergency Leave Guidelines, allowing paid time off for associates diagnosed with COVID-19, placed under mandatory quarantine and paid time off for self-isolation and symptoms as verified by an accredited health care professional.
All eligible associates will receive their standard pay for up to two weeks.
For those affected by COVID-19, the organization has also made available additional resources through the Kroger Family of Companies Helping Hands fund to provide financial assistance to associates who face hardship due to COVID-19, including lack of access to childcare and for those considered at higher-risk.
“We believe all these steps will help to ensure the safety of our associates and help our communities to flatten the curve, while at the same time meeting our obligation to be there for our customers,” said Aubriana Martindale, Smith’s corporate affairs manager.
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