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Nelson Fire & Rescue finds grocery stores take right steps during COVID-19 pandemic

Nelson Fire & Rescue Services visited local grocery stores Thursday (April 2) to offer guidance and observe precautions being taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The stores included: Save-On Foods, Safeway, Kootenay Co-op, Canadian Wholesale Club, Walmart and Ellison’s Market. Crews observed slightly different systems within each store, but all stores were in compliance with Ministry of Health’s orders and recommendations.

“I am pleased with the level of precautions and procedures local grocers are taking to keep their staff and the public safe,” said Acting Fire Chief, Mike Daloise.

 “These are trying times for many, and I want to thank the staff and management of these retailers for working so diligently to safeguard their customers.”

An information bulletin was released by the Provincial Government March 29th offering guidance for retail food and grocery stores.

Recommendations included:

  •  Enhancing premise’s sanitation plan and schedule;
  •  Placing hand sanitizer dispensers near doors, pay stations and other high touch locations;
  • Providing clean carry-out bags for purchased food and grocery products, customers should not use their own containers, reusable bags or boxes; and
  • Ensuring cones or tape marker are in place every 2 metres to provide customers with visible queues that support physical distancing;

With the precautions Nelson’s grocery stores are making, it is important that the public to do their part too.

Public reminder:

  • Maintain physical/social distancing of at least 2 metres at all times;
  • Allow extra time as navigating the grocery stores and ensuring physical distancing is kept takes longer;
  • Only send one person to do the grocery shopping;
  • Try to shop only once a week maximum, create a list and avoid browsing;
  • Avoid touching your face at all times in public; and sanitize/wash your hands before entering and when exiting the store; and,
  • Be patient and kind as workers and shoppers are getting accustom to these new precautions.