RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Kroger Mid-Atlantic gives customers and staff an update on the response the company is taking amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
On March 21, Kroger expanded its COVID-19 emergency leave guidelines to include paid time off for self-isolation and symptoms as verified by an accredited health care professional. This expands the existing guidelines, announced on March 14, which allow paid time off for associates diagnosed with or placed under quarantine due to COVID-19.
In each scenario, all associates will be eligible to receive their standard pay for up to two weeks (14 days).
Kroger associates are permitted to wear protective masks and gloves.
Due to a national shortage of personal protective equipment, Kroger’s first priority is to obtain the equipment America’s healthcare workers need.
“We are committed to protecting the health and safety of our associates,” Kroger Mid-Atlantic said in a statement. “We are advocating to government officials at all levels for help securing a priority place in line for all grocery workers - after health care workers - to have access to protective masks and gloves.”
Kroger is installing plexiglass shields at many cash registers to further promote physical distancing. Many of the stores will begin the installation process next week. Every check lane will have a partition, including pharmacy counters.
Educational floor decals will also be installed to promote physical distancing at check lanes and other counters.
Other preventative measures the company will take include:
- Cleaning commonly used areas multiple times an hour, including cashier stations, self-checkouts, credit card terminals, conveyor belts and food service counters, and cleaning shelves when restocking products.
- Sanitizing restrooms more frequently and restocking with supplies, including soap, paper towels and hand sanitizer.
- Adding extra hand sanitizer at cashier stations, food service counters, and all Pharmacy, The Little Clinic and Starbucks locations.
- Wiping down shopping carts, baskets and equipment.
- Partnering with our suppliers to replenish high-demand preparedness products.
- Maintaining industry-leading best practices for safe food handling.
Kroger will provide a one-time payment to hourly grocery, supply chain, manufacturing and customer service associates, amounting to $300 for the full-time associate and $150 for a part-time associate. In addition to the recent bonus, Kroger gave each associate $25 for groceries, and stores are providing food for associates as well.
Additional resources will be available through Kroger’s Helping Hands Fund, which is a company-sponsored fund that provides financial assistance to associates who are experiencing financial hardship due to an unexpected or emergency situation.
Kroger will also be hiring to fill permanent immediate positions available through Kroger Mid-Atlantic. Positions are available throughout retail stores, manufacturing plants and distribution centers.
Kroger has hired 18,000 associates for full-time and part-time positions within two weeks.
Candidates can apply by clicking here. Candidates could be employed within several days of applying.
Kroger will be temporarily waiving a pickup service fee nationwide with no minimum order threshold.
“Customers may experience limited inventory options and longer wait times than usual,” Kroger Mid-Atlantic says. “We appreciate our customers’ understanding as we work tirelessly to serve the community during this unprecedented time.”
Kroger Mid-Atlantic stores have adjusted their operating hours.
Operating hours will be from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Kroger fuel centers.
“We will continue to make decisions that allow us to operate clean, open and stocked stores to serve our customers and support our associates.”
Due to an increased demand for products and supplies, The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation announced a $3 million commitment to rapidly deploy hunge-relief resources to communities disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
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