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Coronavirus: Businesses offer special hours so senior citizens can avoid big crowds

Winn-Dixie, Publix among stores working to protect vulnerable shoppers

ORLANDO, Fla. – Several businesses across the country are offering a special hour just for seniors to help keep them away from big shopping crowds amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"I'm thrilled. I think every store ought to do it," Deborah Grund said.

Grund got her grocery shopping done Thursday morning at The Fresh Market in Doctor Phillips. The company announced this week that the first hour of business is being designated to senior shoppers.

“All the seniors that live in Orlando, they need to have a right to be able to go in and shop without being bothered or worried about whether or not they’ll get the virus,” Grund said.

Dollar General announced the first hour of the day will be solely for the shopping needs of senior customers because they’re the most vulnerable to COVID-19, according to health officials.

Winn-Dixie also announced on Thursday a special hour dedicated to seniors and high-risk customers from 8 a.m to 9 a.m.

Publix announced Thursday that starting next week, it is adding senior shopping hours to all of its stores on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m.

“It’s very important it really is not just a courtesy. It is really something we should be doing because we have to protect the seniors,” David Stephens said.

The company also added it will hire individuals who have been affected by restricting working hours and layoffs due to the pandemic.

Target will reserve the first hour of shopping each Wednesday at stores nationwide for vulnerable guests, including the elderly and those with underlying health concerns.

Click here for a full list of businesses offering special hours to protect vulnerable shoppers.

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