OHIO, USA — As we work to combat the spread of coronavirus, many grocery stores are working out ways to protect the most vulnerable.

The elderly and immunocompromised are at high-risk of getting sick from COVID-19. So, in an effort to ensure their safety, while making sure they have access to the things they need, some stores are introducing select windows of time in which only seniors are allowed to shop.

Here's a look at what is being done:


Here's a look at what changes have been made at Monnette's Market to help combat the spread of coronavirus:

  • The store will open at 8 a.m. from now on, the hour between 8 - 9 a.m. is reserved for customers over the age of 65 and customers with compromised immune systems.
  • From now on, Monnette's will only be allowing 15 - 25 people in the store at a time. For those customers that arrive after the store has reached capacity, they will have to line up outside in front of the building.
  • The store has extended its counter space at the cash register and in the deli to ensure employees have the proper six feet of space needed to stay as safe as possible.
  • All employees will be wearing gloves at all times, they’re changing gloves and sanitizing/washing hands often. Employees have all been made aware that if they choose not to work during this time, there is no punishment, and they will be welcomed back when this all passes.
  • Monnette's has set its deli up in taped off stations to give customers ample room to stand while being waited on. In addition, the store has emptied out a lot of the display racks and other things to give ample space to the customers waiting to be helped. Store managers are asking that the people waiting please respect social distancing and stand six feet apart.
  • Monnette's has hired a full time cleaning crew, to sanitize carts, baskets and other highly touched items throughout the day. In addition, the store has a cleaning crew come in each night to thoroughly sanitize the store.


From March 24 through April 28, Walmart stores will host an hour-long senior shopping event every Tuesday for customers 60 and older, which will start one hour before stores open. Checking IDs is at the store's discretion.


Walt Churchill's says their stores are reserving the hours of 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. for elderly customers and customers with high-risk factors. Churchill's is asking their regular customers to shop after 9 a.m.


All Whole Foods Market stores in the U.S. and Canada will let customers who are 60 and older shop one hour before opening to the public.


Target is cutting store hours, dedicating weekly time for elderly and vulnerable shoppers. The retailer will reserve the first hour of shopping each Wednesday at stores nationwide for vulnerable guests.


Dollar General is designating the first hour of service daily to senior shoppers.


Big Lots Stores are reserving first hour of each day for senior citizens and "those most vulnerable to this virus."


Fresh Market is reserving the first hour that stores open, from 8 - 9 a.m., for "seniors and those most at risk" Monday through Friday.


Food Town is set to "help support the shopping needs of the elderly in our community." Stores will open from 7 - 8 a.m. to allow those 65 and older to shop in a less-crowded environment. Access to the store during the hour will require a government-issued state ID.

Walmart From March 24 through April 28, Walmart stores will host an hour-long senior shopping event every Tuesday for customers 60 and older, which will start one hour before stores open. Checking IDs is at the store's discretion.


Meijer leaders are adjusting store hours for the foreseeable future to allow more time for team members to deep clean and restock its stores, as well as dedicated hours for senior citizens, customers with chronic health conditions, essential service workers and its team members.

New store hours are as follows:


Beginning Monday, March 23, Kroger stores in Ohio will dedicate the first hour of shopping on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 7 to 8 a.m. to seniors (60+) and other higher-risk customers, as defined by the CDC. 


Ollie’s Bargain Outlet is now designating 9-10 a.m. Monday-Saturday and 10-11 a.m. Sundays as shopping hours for seniors and those with compromised immune systems.

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Facts not fear: Putting COVID-19 into context

WTOL 11’s coverage of the coronavirus is rooted in Facts, not Fear. Visit wtol.com/section/coronavirus for comprehensive coverage, find out what you need to know about northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan specifically, learn more about the symptoms, and keep tabs on the cases around the world here. Have a question? Text it to us at 419-248-1100.

Protect yourself from coronavirus

• Cover: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
• Dispose: Throw used tissues in a lined can.
• Wash hands: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
• Hand sanitizer: If soap and water are not readily available, use and alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
• Avoid touching: Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.