Changes in place at some Calgary grocery stores amid COVID-19 pandemic
CALGARY -- Changes are being made at some Calgary grocery stores as shoppers stock up in preparation for social distancing and self-isolation amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Natalie Gale was at the CrossIron Mills Costco on Friday, shopping for not only her own family, but also two friends in self-isolation as they just returned from Mexico.
“I just want to be a hermit for two or 3 weeks,” the Airdrie resident said. “No more shopping after today. When I got here the line outside was daunting. But it only took about 20 minutes to get inside."
Customers say Costco is limiting the number of shoppers entering their stores at a time, in keeping with recommendations on social distancing.
Shelves were fully stocked, including lots of toilet paper, said Gale, however that particular item was limited to one package per customer.
"Everyone is super friendly inside and everyone is keeping their distance from each other," she said. "And staff keep washing everything so it’s safe."
Costco isn’t the only grocery store changing shopping habits during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Safeway says it will soon install Plexiglas shields around cashiers to reduce the chances of virus transmission.
It’s also reducing operating hours (8 a.m. - 8 p.m.) to make more time for cleaning and restocking.
Meanwhile, the Covid-19 crisis is forcing a brand new farmers market to go online.
"It really does throw a wrench in it ... but everyone else is dealing with those wrenches too," said Ken Aylesworth, general manager of the Prairie Horizon Fresh Market.
The market is opening at the New Horizons Mall on Saturday, but vendors aren’t expecting much of a turnout, given current restrictions on crowds.
That’s why they plan to sell their food online.
"We’re no Amazon, by any stretch," said Aylesworth. "(But) our vendors have joined together in the last 48 hours to put together a complete online system."
The group is offering fresh food delivery within 24 hours of online orders of more than $75. Delivery costs an additional $10 though half that fee will be donated to area food banks. Delivery is free for orders over $150.
"You can’t push a pause button to stop the vines growing, or the cucumbers or anything else in a greenhouse," said Aylesworth. "So this is very important to help vendors move their produce."