Coronavirus inspires Whole Foods to add grocery pickup service for at-risk seniors

Amazon-owned supermarket provides another COVID-19 shopping option for the elderly

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Whole Foods Market is one of the many grocery retail chains that have designated shopping hours for at-risk seniors amid the coronavirus pandemic among other policies to keep this vulnerable population safe.

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The Amazon-owned company recently announced it has implemented enhanced cleaning measures throughout its stores and is now open one hour early for customers age 60 and above in the U.S. and Canada and age 70 and above in the U.K., according to The Amazon blog dayone.

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Las Vegas, USA - July 14, 2013: A photo of the Whole Foods Market storefront in Las Vegas.

As of Saturday, Whole Foods Market has added a grocery pickup option for these seniors in Indianapolis, Las Vegas and Richmond, which is reserved for the first hour of the store’s pickup service. The company plans to expand this service for seniors in pickup locations nationwide “in the coming weeks.”

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To find a location that offers grocery pickup, Whole Foods.

All of these updates are meant to make customers who are 60 and over feel more comfortable shopping in stores that have a less crowded setting, the blog states.

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The enhanced cleaning initiatives the company has added to promote health and safety include employee temperature checks, mask and glove distribution for staff, plexiglass barrier installations, “stringent” sanitation protocols, social distancing guidelines, suspending the use of reusable personal containers and self-serve areas.

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In the U.S., the novel coronavirus has a 1.4 percent death rate for adults between the ages of 55 and 64 and 2.7 percent for adults between the ages of 65 and 74, according to data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. For adults between the ages of 75 and 84, the death goes up to 4.3 percent. And for adults age 85 and above, that rate spikes up to 10.4 percent.

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The coronavirus has infected more than 943,860 U.S. residents and claimed more than 54,400 lives at the time of publication, according to data from Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard.