Dollar General Dedicates First Hour to Seniors Only Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Seniors are most susceptible to COVID-19

March 17, 2020

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tn (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - Dollar General stores are opening their doors for the first hour of daily operations for seniors only.

The move was announced Monday evening and went into effect Tuesday morning.

According to the CDC, the people most at risk of getting sick from coronavirus are older adults and individuals who have serious chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and lung disease.

The move will give seniors time to shop for the items they need while being able to avoid busier crowds during the day.

“In keeping with our mission and our ongoing commitment to serve our communities, we are dedicating the first hour of each day to seniors. We appreciate our customers’ understanding of our decision and request they visit our stores later in the morning to allow at-risk populations the ability to purchase the items they need at affordable prices,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s CEO.

“During these unprecedented times, Dollar General is diligently working to meet the ongoing needs of our customers and communities. We are proud to live our mission and provide customers with everyday low prices on the household essentials that are used and replenished most often.”

In addition to the senior hour, Dollar Generals will also close an hour later so employees can have extra time to clean and restock shelves.

The Stop & Shop chain of supermarkets also announced they will open doors an hour earlier to allow customers 60 and older to shop from 6 a.m - to 7:30 p.m. Shoppers will be allowed to use a designated entrance starting March 19. They will also close early.

Other stores around the globe are implementing similar hours including Woolworths, the largest supermarket chain in Australia.

“The move has been prompted by the unprecedented demand in supermarkets over the past week, which has seen many elderly and vulnerable people in the community missing out on vital items they may need when they shop,” the company revealed on its website.

Rebecca Mehra, and Oregon woman, recently shared a heartwarming and eye-opening story in which she detailed how she was approached by an elderly couple outside of a supermarket who were overcome with fear about going inside and getting supplies.

“I know it’s a time of hysteria and nerves, but offer to help anyone you can,” Mehra advised. “Not everyone has people to turn to.”

It's unclear whether or no other major retailers will also adopt elderly hours.

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