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Coronavirus Philadelphia: Grocery Store Employee Calls For Customers To Be Patient While Food Shopping

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Most people are staying at home during the coronavirus outbreak, but some people are considered essential employees in essential businesses, including supermarket workers.

Theresa Webber has worked in the grocery business for 38 years. For the last 15 years, she's worked at the ACME at Bustleton and Red Lion Road in Northeast Philadelphia.

Q: How hard has this crisis been for you and your colleagues? 

It's been very tough. We've been overwhelmed with the grocery business, the customers, but we're hanging in there because we know it's what we need to do at this time of the year.

Q: What steps are the employees taking to maintain their safety since they are exposed to so many people throughout the day? 

Well, the company has put up protocols for us. They had put up Plexiglas ceilings in front of the registers and red markings on the floor to tell people where to stand as we're ready to check them out. There are also lines on the aisle on which direction everyone should be moving at the same time. There is a big cleaning thing where the registers get wiped down every hour and the company and union have been very much behind this to make sure it's all getting done.

Q: What can members of the public do to help ensure that you, a supermarket employee, stay safe and they stay safe while in grocery stores? 

They need to follow the protocols, there are signs listed throughout the stores now. Just follow the lines and just be patient. There are more customers, longer lines, so they need to be patient to help us get them through. Do a little bit more shopping and stay home, and come out only once or twice a week instead of every day to visit us.

Q: Thirty-eight years in the industry, have you ever seen anything like this? 

No, I've been through a lot of blizzards and a lot of hurricanes but this has been the worst and thank God that we have a good company and a good union standing behind us to help us get through all this.

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