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As an essential business, grocery stores can play an important role in protecting their employees and customers from COVID-19 by following these practices

  • Limit occupancy to 25% of maximum capacity.

  • Apply the social distancing recommendations to lines formed inside or outside of the store.
    • Limit the numbers of shoppers in the establishment. Those waiting outside must be at least 6 feet apart.
    • Use one-way traffic through the aisles. (can use tape to create arrow direction of flow)
    • At checkout lines, put tape on the floor at least 6 feet apart to space out customers.

  • No food samples allowed.

  • Clean and sanitize commonly touched surfaces and meet the cleaning guidelines set by the CDC.
  • Every day check employees for symptoms of illness at the start of their work shift. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19: cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing. They may also have COVID-19 if they have at least two of the following: fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell.
    • Employees must stay home if they are sick with symptoms.

  • Employees must wash their hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds at the start of work, after using the restroom, before and after eating and throughout the day. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

  • Have alcohol based (60%) hand sanitizers available for employees and customers. Place sanitizers at convenient locations such as store entrances and cashier stations.

  • Discourage high-risk employees from working with the public. High-risk employees include those over the age of 60, pregnant, or have chronic health conditions (e.g. diabetes, heart conditions.)

  • Offer special shopping hours for high-risk customers.

  • Employees and customers are required to wear cloth face coverings under the statewide mask mandate. Download posters.

  • Put up a poster in the store that tells customers and staff the steps that are being taken to minimize the risk of COVID-19. Download posters.

If you are a food business owner or a food worker and have questions related to your operation, please reach out to your Environmental Health Investigator or call 206-263-9566 to speak with office staff. For the latest information, please visit the following site: