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Grocery stores schedule special shopping hours for seniors to reduce coronavirus exposure risk

Following recommendations to avoid large crowds and stay 6 feet away from strangers while in public can help reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission, but these guidelines can be difficult to follow on routine shopping trips.

Amid fears of the coronavirus pandemic, a woman wears a face mask as she heads to Union Station. File photo.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Senior citizens are among the most at-risk of serious COVID-19 complications. so social distancing to limit the risk of exposure is especially important among older populations.

Following recommendations to avoid large crowds and stay 6 feet away from strangers while in public can help reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission, but these guidelines can be difficult to follow on routine shopping trips.

To help provide at-risk seniors with a safer shopping option, grocery chains across Chicago are implementing senior shopping hours: during this time, stores are asking low-risk Chicagoans — people who are young and healthy, are not immunocompromised or don’t have preexisting conditions — to avoid their shops to keep aisles and checkout lines less crowded.

Senior shopping hours at Chicago chains include:

  • Cermak Produce, every day, 7-8 a.m.
  • Jewel Osco, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 7-9 a.m.
  • Mariano’s, every day, 6-8 a.m.
  • Trader Joe’s, Mondays, 9-10 a.m.
  • Walgreens, Tuesdays, 8-9 a.m.
  • Target, Wednesdays for the first hour
  • Dollar General, every day for the first hour
  • Whole Foods, every day, one hour before stores open
  • Costco, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 8-9 a.m.
  • Food 4 Less, Tuesdays & Fridays, 7:30-8 a.m.

Source: Office of Illinois State Representative Theresa Mah (2nd)