COVID-19 Shopper Info

About COVID-19

For a general overview of the virus, specific information about avoiding and treating the illness and regular updates, we recommend the Vermont Department of Health website.

The Virus and Food

The virus is understood to spread person-to-person via air-borne saliva and mucus droplets. According to the Harvard Health Blog, it’s not clear if transmission by food is possible, “but if so it would be more likely to be the exception than the rule.” Still our Co-op is acting cautiously, doing our best to balance meeting shopper’s needs with mitigating known risk.

How Our Co-op is Responding

So much has changed over the last week, it is challenging to keep up. Given the many needs and many unknowns, we do our best to prioritize. Going forward, our co-op is prioritizing the safety of our employees and our shoppers while maintaining a steady supply of high-quality food for the community.

Click here for the latest update from our General Manager.

So much has changed over the last week, it is challenging to keep up. Given the many needs and many unknowns, we do our best to prioritize. Going forward, our co-op is prioritizing the safety of our employees and our shoppers while maintaining a steady supply of high-quality food for the community.

We are preparing and responding in several ways:

Sanitation Measures

By disinfecting frequently touched objects like baskets, carts and door handles

By offering hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes in many locations through the store including the main entrance and exit

By closing our food bar and cafe seating and shifting toward prepackaged and takeout options

By shifting to bagged versions of popular items that are not cooked like nuts and granola.

By temporarily suspending product sampling

Our Employees

By emphasizing the Department of Health guidance for disease prevention

By sharing information in a variety of ways including daily staff meetings

By supplying gloves for employees in high-contact departments

By emphasizing that employees go or stay home if they are symptomatic. We are excusing employee absences due to illness. We provide 4 to 7 weeks of paid time off per year with up to 2 additional weeks of family/medical leave for qualifying employees

Pandemic Response Plan

By updating and sharing our plan for responding to a local outbreak. The plan provides a wide variety of steps we can take to protect employees and shoppers while providing basic goods and services in different scenarios of severity

By monitoring national and local updates and sharing information

By sharing information with other co-ops

Inventory Management

By ordering additional supply of key staples as possible and preparing for shortages

Co-op Product Availability

Like other stores, we are experiencing a combination of increased demand of certain products and some disruptions in supply. We take the safety of our staff and shoppers seriously and have ordered additional supplies of cold and flu supplements, staple grocery items, and cleaning and paper products. We are doing our best to keep items in stock and are working to find alternate sources when available. The CDC suggests there is no need to panic or stockpile more than two weeks of non-perishable food, household items and critical medicines.

Shopping at the Co-op

We are in this together as a community. We can all help to protect ourselves by following basic guidance from our Department of Health:

  • 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

In the coming days, we expect to shift our hours of operation as we adjust to new levels of staffing, customer demand, and product supply. A reduced schedule will also provide much-needed time for stocking and cleaning. Look for more information on this later in the week.

Over the coming weeks, we are asking you to adjust your shopping to protect yourself and others:

  • Do not come to the Co-op if you are symptomatic of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath)
  • Please reserve the first hour of business (currently 8-9 am) for high-risk shoppers including seniors and those with underlying health issues
  • Consider ways to minimize trips for your neighbors and family
  • Shop solo when possible
  • Maintain distance from others to the extent possible
  • Using gloves when handling tongs and scoops

Other Information Resources

Center for Disease Control
UVM Health Network
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital
World Health Organization
Dartmouth Hitchcock COVID-19 Information Hotline (603) 650-1818

Questions? Email or call us.