Starting Monday, Cincinnati-area Kroger stores will set aside shopping time specifically for seniors and other people at high risk of experiencing COVID-19 complications.
The company announced Friday that seniors and other high-risk customers are invited to shop between 7-8 a.m. Monday-Thursday. Associates will be on-hand to help anyone who needs it.
“Kroger wants to provide these groups with the ability to purchase the items they need when fewer shoppers are present,” corporate affairs manager Erin Rolfes wrote in a news release. “We request that customers respect these hours for the health of our community during this time of uncertainty.
“We thank our customers for their kind consideration, which impacted our decision to provide special hours for seniors and those who are more vulnerable to COVID-19 coronavirus.”
The coronavirus can infect people of any age — Ohio’s patients ranged from 1 to 91 by Friday afternoon — but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have advised that people over 60, people with existing respiratory problems and people with repressed immune systems are especially vulnerable to complications.
Rolfes said Kroger would not attempt to verify whether customers shopping early in the morning were high-risk but asked all shoppers to be respectful of the initiative to keep vulnerable people safe.