Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Preventing coronavirus spread: Walmart, Kroger, Albertsons among grocers adding sneeze guards

Retailers have reduced store hours to make time for deep cleanings and now are adding a new layer of protection – sneeze guards.

Walmart and some of the nation's largest grocery store chains – Kroger and Albertsons – are installing plexiglass barriers or partitions to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus and protect both shoppers and store employees.

The protective screens will stand between a customer and a cashier so that any airborne droplets - either from a cough or a sneeze - will be blocked from hitting the person on the other side.

"Staying safe and healthy is more important than ever for our associates, our customers and for us," Dacona Smith, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Walmart U.S., wrote in a blog post Tuesday. "Installing these barriers is another way Walmart is helping bring peace of mind that we are doing everything we can to keep our people and our stores safe."

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Walmart said it has started installing the barriers at pharmacies at Walmart and Sam's Clubs and will install the guards at regular Walmart registers over the next two to three weeks.

Smith also said Walmart is adding decals to promote social distancing on floors and has "found a new solution to help associates clean carts quicker and more thoroughly."

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