ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Big box stores aren’t seeing the same endless lines and crowds as they did at the start of the pandemic but there are still capacity limits, with COVID-19 cases soaring KRQE News 13 checked to see if stores are laxer than they were a few months ago.
A quick look around the parking lot at Costco off Renaissance shows that they’re still seeing big crowds, but the store still has a system to make sure they don’t break the state’s rules by letting too many people inside.
“It’s really busy but there’s no lines at the cash register, so that’s really good,” Judy Lopez of Albuquerque said.
Costco employees stood at the entrance counting every person who walks in and out of the store.
The governor’s 25-percent capacity limit lets them have 520 customers inside the store, but a manager said they haven’t come close to that. They had about 300 customers inside at once on Thursday around noon.
This is one of the stores on the state’s watch list for having at least two rapid responses in a two-week period. The manager said whenever they know of an employee testing positive, they report it to the state within three hours.
The manager added they try to get people in and out as quickly as possible by opening six more self-checkout stations, and they only allow to-go orders at the food court.
“This morning there really wasn’t too big of a crowd but I just try to do everything all at once,” Angel Slay of Albuquerque stated.
The Walmart off Coors and I-40 and the Smith’s off Coors and Central continue to have arrows on the floor pointing customers in a direction to walk, along with reminders to social distance.
The nearby Home Depot did have a line at the checkout. KRQE News 13 didn’t see anybody counting the number of customers at those three locations.