Grocery stores increase social distancing measures

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Grocery stores are the one place most people still have to visit. Stores keep stepping up their social distancing measures to make them safer places.

“My worry is being that person that ends up getting COVID,” Albuquerque resident Elizabeth Shea said. She said coronavirus concerns sometimes make her anxious to leave the house.

“Coming to a place and being that small percentage that catches the virus and brings it home to my family is my biggest concern,” Shea said.

However, most everyone has to leave at some point for necessities. “I am just getting my groceries for hopefully more than a week-long so I do not have to come back out,” Shea said.

Some stores across the city are taking concerns like Shea’s into consideration like sanitizing each cart. “I think that it is a really good thing,” Shea said. “I think we should be practicing as safely as possible.”

At Smith’s, some employees wore gloves and masks on Monday. Stores across town are having people wait at taped lines, encouraging people to keep a six-foot distance and workers are calling them forward when cashiers are ready.

“I think it is great,” Albuquerque resident Michael Baca said. “You got to take this type of thing serious. You don’t want someone hovering over you and sneezing. It’s just kind of weird now.”

At Trader Joe’s, there is a line outside as workers said they are only letting 30 to 40 people in at a time. At Whole Foods, workers said the limit is 60. “I feel like more rushed when I am in the stores now or in public now than normal like I should be getting in and out faster,” Shea said.

“What I did notice too is there are no kids in the stores,” Baca said. “People are leaving their kids at home and sending one parent in to shop.”

Shea said it makes her more comfortable shopping with stores taking these measures and is thankful people seem to be respecting the rules. “People are trying to be a lot more aware about it,” Shea said. “It is like a whole new lifestyle for everyone.”

Smith’s announced last week that they would be adding plexiglass barriers to protect the cashiers have not seen them installed yet. Many stores have also added senior hours, including Trader Joe’s from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. which began Monday.

New Mexico Coronavirus Resources

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