Dear Co-op Members,
I want to thank the whole Co-op community, members, shoppers, employees, local vendors, and community partners for our amazing effort this year. I have marveled at the understanding and care that folks have taken in protecting ourselves and each other from the COVID-19 threat.
You have likely heard about the Governor’s Forward Vermont plan for lifting pandemic restrictions, and maybe you have thought about how it will change life over the coming weeks. Here at the Co-op, we plan to maintain virtually all of the safety provisions we have developed for now.
The State and City still require mask-wearing and social distancing. The Co-op will continue to limit the number of shoppers in the store in order to protect the unvaccinated. We will also continue our disinfection routines and make hand sanitizer and masks available for everyone. Our Curbside Pick-Up program is here to stay and, with contactless pick-up, it remains the safest way to shop.
As vaccination rates increase, COVID cases decrease and the risks recede, we will make our own “turns of the spigot.” Over time, we will increase the number of shoppers in the store and expand hours of operations. We will stop reserving the first hour of shopping for our seniors and high-risk shoppers. We await permission to reopen our hot foods and salad bar, and eventually the café. With time, we will consider reinstituting in-person workshops and events, although we have made the decision not to hold truckload sales in 2021.
Recognizing that not everyone is vaccinated, we all play an essential part. In addition to facial coverings and distancing, we ask that you continue to shop alone, shop intentionally, and socialize outdoors in consideration of others who may be waiting to enter the Co-op. It is critical that you avoid the Co-op and other public places if you have signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Those who are not vaccinated should follow the State’s new travel guidance.
It is gratifying to be this close to returning to something like normalcy. Thank you again for helping us get over the finish line together.
Kari Bradley, General Manager