Dear Co-op Members and shoppers,
Like others throughout our community, our Co-op is preparing for the possibility of a local outbreak of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. I want to share some information that may be helpful for you as a Co-op shopper and owner.
Sanitation is critical so we have set up alcohol-based hand sanitizer stations at the entrance and exit of the store. We are also sanitizing frequently-touched items such as shopping carts, baskets and doorknobs regularly throughout the day. You will notice that cashiers and other employees have started to use gloves to minimize direct contact.
Many shoppers are looking for ways to boost their immunity. Our Wellness Department has a wide variety of immune system-support products including elderberry syrup, propolis spray and a variety of herbal tinctures. We have sold out of alcohol-based hand sanitizers and due to high demand we do not know when more will come in, but we do have CleanWell botanically-based hand sanitizer available at this time.
Shoppers are stocking up on pantry basics. We have ordered extra canned and bulk food items in response to customer demand. It is not clear how COVID-19 will impact our suppliers, so you may want to consider keeping a little extra of the necessities on hand.
Of course, it’s important to practice the basics of disease prevention. Here is what the Vermont Department of Health advises:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Keep in mind that normal cooking temperatures generally kills viruses. There is evidence that other types of coronaviruses persist on material surfaces for days at a time, so it is a good idea to wash any surface (including your hands) that come into contact with raw food.
The Co-op will do our best to maintain our supply of high-quality food for our Central Vermont community. We will provide more information as it is available to us. Please take care of yourselves and your loved ones.
Kari Bradley, General Manager