Greetings from the Co-op! Yesterday’s announcement that the State is ending COVID restrictions was quite a moment. After more than fifteen months of living, shopping and working through this pandemic, it was an occasion to mark our success as a state and as a community. We are so grateful for this amazing progress, but of course, we recognize that the risk associated with COVID is reduced, not eliminated.
Our COVID Response Team met this morning to discuss our plan for lifting restrictions here at the Co-op. As usual, we reviewed local COVID case and vaccination data (all good news) and then discussed the feedback we have heard from shoppers and employees over the past couple of weeks. For sure, there is a wide variety of perspectives about how to proceed amongst our community. Some want the Co-op to end restrictions right away, and others prefer we take longer to give those who need it time to finish the vaccine process, mitigate risks for children and those who are immunocompromised, and wait to see how COVID variants progress. From these discussions, it is clear that some of us need more time to prepare for and adjust to changes in the practices that have kept us safe.
With all of this in mind, we have decided that on Monday, July 5, we will:
- end masking and distancing requirements,
- begin opening at 8:00 am each day,
- reopen our food bar, and
- end limits on the number of shoppers in the store at one time.
At that point, masking will be optional, but those who are unvaccinated will be encouraged to wear a facial covering indoors.
In early August, we will reopen our café and begin offering food samples.
Our timeline is subject to change based on local COVID case counts and comparable safety concerns. We will continue to monitor trends carefully and update you as things unfold.
In the meantime, we plan to continue some safety provisions into the foreseeable future, including:
- our Curbside Pick-Up program
- offering masks/hand sanitizer
- plexiglass at service stations
- enhanced airflow through our building’s heating and cooling system
We hope this approach strikes a reasonable balance. We recognize that it will be impossible to satisfy everyone during this transition. Still, it is our hope that we will continue to work together to meet our collective needs safely and with respect.
Thank you for supporting our co-op, and see you in the aisles soon,
Kari Bradley, General Manager