March 27, 2020
RE: COVID-19 Response & Preparation
Dear GBCFC members and shoppers,
The Great Basin Community Food Co-op along with its Local & Regional producers, and devoted membership, form a network that is a vital resource to the community. The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has shown this to be true, perhaps now more than ever before. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind at the store and we are grateful for all of your support. While most of the world hunkers down, a group of dedicated humans – farmers & ranchers, packers & shippers, truck drivers, grocers & restaurants – are working hard to ensure a constant supply is available. We wanted to reach out to let you all know that we are taking this situation seriously and are continuing to make adjustments as things change to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. After all, we exist to meet the needs of our community. Below are the changes we have made in response to this outbreak thus far.
- While GBCFC has had no reported COVID-19 infections in our co-op, we have asked any staff exhibiting symptoms of respiratory illness or fever to stay home and notify their physician. If they are given a clean bill of health from the WCHD, we are requiring that the staff member wait additional days [symptom free] before returning to work.
- Co-op staff are regularly sanitizing all high-touch areas with a bleach solution. This includes all door handles, carts and baskets, scales, scoops, spigots, tongs and all other hands-on zones of the bulk and produce departments, register areas, POS keypads and terminals, railings and doors.
- All staff are required to wear gloves, to be changed regularly, including after handling cash at the register.
- We are encouraging shoppers to pay with card rather than cash.
- A variety of filtered masks and hand-made masks are available for use by all staff members who are now required to wear them when on the sales floor.
- All sample stations have been removed from the sales floor.
- The Food Shed Café is closed, and public access to the entire 2nd floor of the co-op is blocked. This includes restrooms.
- We are working closely with our suppliers to ensure we have the essentials that you are seeking, like pantry staples, cleaning supplies, and health and body care items. Some of our local restaurant owners have shifted their operations to in-house production of take-home items like sauces, breads and pastas, which we are continuing to make available on our shelves.
- A senior shopping hour has been implemented daily from 7:30am to 8:30am. This includes anyone age 65 or older, pregnant women, and shoppers with a compromised immune system.
- We are strictly enforcing a “singular shoppers only” rule. This is helping to reduce the number of humans in our store at a time. Signs are posted to the front door, and our staff is asking any groups or pairs of shoppers who approach to only send in one person. Given that our store is small and space is tight, this is crucial in helping ensure 6ft of space between shoppers.
- We are asking that any customer who may be sick please stay at home.
- The co-op has also launched an online store, with curb-side [well, parking lot to be exact] pickup. This helps staff and customers maintain the suggested 6ft of social distance. Our food hub DROPP has also made more household-quantity adjustments to their store listings, and are now offering home delivery!
Throughout all of this, we are making additional efforts to demonstrate our gratitude to our staff who continue to work each day with commitment, compassion, and kindness to ensure our stores are stocked, clean, and ready to serve you.
We anticipate that guidance from federal, state and local agencies may change rapidly over the coming days and weeks. We will continue to monitor and adjust our operations to prioritize the health and safety of you and our staff.
We know you have many choices when it comes to where to purchase groceries. Thank you for choosing our co-op and for being an integral part of our community!
In Safety & Solidarity,
Co-founder & General Manager
The Great Basin Community Food Co-op