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Colorado Safeway & Albertsons Stores Work To Protect Employees From Coronavirus

(CBS4) - Safeway and Albertsons stores in Colorado are installing plastic or acrylic sheets to protect employees and customers from the spread of coronavirus. Officials began adding them to checkstands at the Safeway in Lone Tree Friday.

The "sneeze guards" will serve as a barrier between customers and checkers. They will be installed in the company's 2,200+ stores over the next two weeks, with many locations complete in the next several days.
"We recognize that we provide an essential service to our communities," said Vivek Sankaran, President & CEO. "We are doing everything we can to provide a safe, secure, and comfortable shopping space for our valued customers. This is an extra step to protect our associates who are in constant contact with the public and provide our customers with extra reassurance as well."

In addition to the installation, officials announced a $2.00 per hour increase for front line associates, e-commerce delivery, distribution center and manufacturing plant employees. The temporary pay increase includes employees in the Denver Division and 124 stores throughout Colorado. It also includes employees at the Denver Distribution Center, as well as our Milk and Beverage plants in Denver.

"In ways that we could not even imagine, overnight, our country changed – and as a result it changed the way our teams conduct business," said Vivek Sankaran, President & CEO. "I am so proud to say our teams did not skip a step. In our manufacturing plants, distribution centers and in our stores, our associates are working tirelessly to serve our customers."

The pay increase is effective March 15 until at least the end of the following pay period on March 28 for approximately 230,000 Albertsons' associates. The company will evaluate the situation on an ongoing basis and make changes as necessary.

According to officials, Safeway and Albertsons stores have taken several precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus, including:

  • Pausing self-service operations like soup bars, wing bars, and salad bars.
  • Enhancing measures to clean and disinfect all departments, restrooms, and other high-touch points of the store throughout the day, as well as a deep cleanse at the end of each business day. Cart wipes and hand sanitizer stations continue to be available at key locations within the store for customers' convenience.
  • Asking associates to follow CDC guidelines, wash hands frequently, and stay home if they feel sick.
  • Reserving special times for seniors and other vulnerable shoppers who must leave home to obtain their groceries, unless otherwise locally mandated. The company is asking non-seniors and non-at-risk shoppers to avoid shopping at these times.

RELATED: Latest Updates On The Coronavirus Outbreak In Colorado

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