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update Thursday, March 19

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Dear Co-op Community,

The health and well-being of our customers, staff, volunteers and suppliers is our utmost concern at this time. We are working quickly to respond to ever changing conditions and want to update you on our current protocols in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our goal is to keep both of our stores open and safe to provide food and essential supplies. Social distancing and sanitizing routines are our priorities to achieve that goal. We are asking customers to cooperate with the following requests and changes:

  • Our supply chain has been stressed by recent weeks of heavy shopping. Today, Thursday, we are still waiting for a large delivery that was expected Monday. We do still expect it to arrive and will be able to restock the shelves with many items, though not everything will be available. As stated by Governor Inslee, “There is no need to hoard food or supplies. Everyone needs to only buy what they need, and they need to remember when they overbuy, those things are taken away from their neighbors and others who need them now.”
  • Do not come to our stores if you are sick and displaying communicable symptoms or are in high-risk categories. We are working on an order and pickup system of groceries for those who cannot or should not come into the stores; we hope to have it in place next week. If you have friends or neighbors you can ask to shop for you until then, please do so.
  • Maintain social distance with other shoppers and staff as much as possible, 6 feet of space is recommended.
  • Gloves have been provided for customers throughout the store, we ask you to use them especially for bulk and produce shopping
  • We are asking customers to suspend the use of reused containers and bags at this time, though using your own shopping bags for self bagging is acceptable. Our reused container areas have been closed until further notice
  • The eating area at the Eastside store is closed until further notice
  • In an effort to make more food available to more people, we are not able to take special orders for our bulk department at this time. This includes any bags or boxes in bulk quantities and other special orders may be affected as well
  • All sampling and tabling has been canceled. Health and body care testers have been removed
  • Coffee service will still be available but cannot be dispensed with bare hands, use gloves or single use tissues provided
  • Please avoid touching your face while at the Co-op, and utilize hand washing stations as much as possible (mobile stations will be installed soon)
  • Store hours may be affected soon and we will offer as much notice as possible if we do need to change our open hours

Staff and worker protocols:

    • We are asking any worker who is sick or concerned about exposure to stay home. We offer comprehensive sick leave to our staff
    • Workers are being asked to frequently wash hands using soap and water or hand sanitizer during shifts as recommended by health officials and to wear gloves when appropriate as well
    • We are increasing our emphasis and frequency of cleaning and sanitizing, especially for those items that are commonly touched by customers or staff alike
    • Workers are encouraged to use social distancing best practices and any possible remote work and meetings are being utilized

More changes and protocols may be developed as conditions are changing quickly. Thank you for your support, understanding, flexibility and patience with our workers and with each other as we work together to make it through this difficult time.

In Cooperation,
The Staff Collective of the Olympia Food Co-op