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Walmart, Ralphs, Other Stores Changing Hours Due To Coronavirus

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) -- Shoppers are racing to grocery stores to stock up on essential supplies as coronavirus cases continue to rise in the U.S., causing gridlocks in parking lots and inside store aisles.

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Items like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, hand soap, rubbing alcohol, water and canned goods have been flying off shelves. Some stores have already placed limits on buying certain items due to the increased demand.

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"You don't have to buy so much. Take it easy. Just relax," President Donald Trump said Sunday.

Walmart, Ralphs and Whole Foods are among the stores that have announced changes to regular operating hours to help give workers more time to stock products and perform additional sanitizing.

For Walmart, stores that are normally open 24 hours will now be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. until further notice, the company said in a blog post late Saturday.

Ralphs, a subsidiary of Kroger, announced its stores will temporarily be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Whole Foods -- which is known for its open-access sample product testers -- recently announced nixing that option to help prevent the spread of the virus. The supermarket chain also announced there will be modified hours of operation.

Local stores like Stater Bros say they're devoted to making this pandemic response as easy on customers and workers as possible.

"Our CEO is bagging groceries at our store location in Redlands," said Vice President of Corporate Affairs Nancy Negrette. "We're here to do the right thing for the right reason and having Stater Bros open to the public is going to create a sense of calmness."

Ways to protect yourself and others

  • Clean your hands often
  • Avoid close contact
  • Stay home if you're sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Wear a facemask if you are sick
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces

Monitor the CDC website for information about how to stay safe during the pandemic.

To stay up-to-date on local L.A.-area coronavirus news, check out CBSLA's dedicated webpage.

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