How do American supermarkets and grocery stores combat the epidemic?

Customers are more likely to spread the virus from others than from goods. Photo: Getty Images.
Customers are more likely to spread the virus from others than from goods. Photo: Getty Images.

Supermarkets and grocery stores became the “last bastion” in the US when many state and city governments implemented a blockade to fight the Covid-19 epidemic.

According to The Atlantic, American supermarkets and grocery stores are straining their operations in Covid-19. A Trader Joe’s employee in Seattle (Washington, USA), a King Soopers employee in Denver (Colorado, USA), two men of Fred Meyer in Monroe (Washington) and Portland (Oregon) have been confirmed to have corona virus.

CNN quoted a number of health experts as saying that the new mechanism of spreading corona virus is still mainly through human-to-human droplets. The ability to transmit Covid-19 through items is not high.

Please wash your hands after handling the packaging

Research indicates the virus exists on food and plastic packaging within a to a few days. However, the virus is less contagious at this stage. “Wash your hands after handling packaging,” advises Angela Rasmussen at Columbia University.

Many supermarkets and retail stores in the US have provided disinfectant wipes for customers when they hold the shopping cart. Retailers can also prevent the possibility of the virus spreading by dividing their hours of sale or using a self-pay terminal. However, cashiers are more susceptible to viruses because they have to contact hundreds of customers every day.

“If a customer coughs or sneezes while standing in line near a salesperson, the likelihood of passing the virus through droplets is very high,” said Brandon Brown, UC Riverside expert.

As a result, salespeople and cashiers are in a dilemma. The United States cannot close grocery stores. Like pharmacies, they are an important lifeline to ensure people’s lives.

However, this may threaten low-income workers. They have no training in fighting epidemics and have no choice but to work.

To mitigate this threat, grocery store employees all asked to wear masks, according to Hilary Thesmar of the American Food Industry Association (FMI).

Paid sick leave for employees

Salespeople contact hundreds of customers every day. Photo: Getty Images.
Salespeople contact hundreds of customers every day. Photo: Getty Images.

“FMI has asked for masks from the federal government for salespeople but not. There is a shortage of facemasks and priority medical workers across the country, ”Hilary said.

American supermarkets and grocery stores are still strengthening efforts to control the disease. They require employees to wash their hands regularly, using disinfectants and cleaning surfaces.

Some stores also pay sick leave for their employees. Employees infected with Covid-19 or isolated from Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Kroger, Stop & Shop and Target are entitled to 2 weeks paid leave.

However, some employees still complain that these policies are not enough. For example, Whole Foods offers paid leave, but hourly employees must give time off to others.

Like some other stores, Whole Foods pays its employees an hourly rate of US $ 2. Many people think that this is too little for their health risk.

A Whole Foods employee in Atlanta (Georgia, USA) feels guilty for being isolated from fever and sore throat.

“If you feel good enough to work, you need to work. We all understand the feeling when there aren’t enough people there. Our store is so busy and lacking manpower that there is not enough time for cleaning or cleaning. On the last day of work, I could only wash my hands a few times during my shift, ”he said.

The grocery stores are adding measures to prevent the corona virus and hire more employees. However, they cannot be 100% immune to the virus. It is difficult to keep a distance from others in crowded supermarkets.