Posted: Apr 15, 2020 / 10:36 PM CDT
/ Updated: Apr 15, 2020 / 11:02 PM CDT

HUEYTOWN, Ala. (WIAT) — According to the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, more than 1,500 grocery store workers have tested positive for COVID-19. Dozens have died and the Alabama Grocers Association has made new recommendations to make shopping safer.

Barry Dabbs, the store director at the Hueytown Food Giant, starts his shift at 2 a.m. He comes in early to clean the registers, carts and other frequently touched places.

“Basically we just sanitize, sanitize, sanitize,” Dabbs said.

Some of the changes made to maximize protection include installing plexiglass barriers were at each register and supplying employees with masks and gloves.

“Especially if someone comes in, they can stand right in front of it and aren’t breathing directly on the cashiers,” Dabbs said.

Signs are displayed on every aisle reminding customers to keep their distance. The Alabama Grocers Association is recommending busier stores take it one step further.

“Many stores are doing one-way aisles to make sure that consumers are not close to one another and maintaining that six-foot distance,” said Ellie Taylor with the Alabama Grocers Association.

Taylor says although the panic shopping has calmed, they’re still asking customers to think about others.

“Please take what you need, but please leave some for your neighbor,” she said. “That way we can ensure we can provide food to everyone that comes into the store.”

As stores slowly get back to being fully stocked, Dabbs helps his shoppers by posting online daily with updates on the Hueytown Food Giant’s supply.

“Instead of customers going to three or four stores, why not read my post and see what’s available,” Dabbs said. “I do it all for the community.”

The Alabama Grocers Association is also asking you to have a designated shopper for your household. This way, fewer trips to the store are taken, keeping you and store employees safer.


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