Hy-Vee reserves one hour of shopping time for 'high risk' customers

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(KWQC) - Hy-Vee announced on Wednesday announced that it will reserve one hour of shopping time from 7 to 8 a.m. prior to its new opening time each day for customers considered “high-risk.”

Those customers include anyone ages 60 and older, expectant mothers, and anyone with an underlying health condition that makes him or her more susceptible to serious illness.

The grocery store chain on Tuesday said that it is temporarily changing its store hours across its eight-state region to address concerns about the coronavirus.

Starting Wednesday, stores will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week, until further notice.

The shortened hours will allow employees additional time to clean and sanitize all areas of the store, as well as restock the items in highest demand, the company said in a media release.

All Hy-Vee convenience stores will continue to operate under their normal hours at this time.

All dining areas in all Hy-Vee stores, restaurants and convenience stores are now closed to the public. Foodservice areas will still operate during their normal hours, offering freshly prepared meal options for carry-out only.

All bars inside Hy-Vee Market Grille locations have been closed until further notice.

For Hy-Vee Aisles Online customers, deliveries will now be made by third-party partners, like Shipt and Door Dash (where available), in order to help in-store employees focus on pickup orders and other needs at the stores.

Hy-Vee Aisles Online customers may find that their preferred delivery or pickup time isn’t available at the moment due to increased demand.

Hy-Vee is asking customers who are able to do so to shop in stores so that the available Hy-Vee Aisles Online timeslots can be used for those who are unable to shop for themselves or have been advised by health care professionals to limit their public exposure.

For the time being, Hy-Vee is suspending its weekly corporate advertising circular that is distributed to all stores and found in many local newspapers.

“This is an unprecedented situation for all of us," said Randy Edeker, Hy-Vee’s chairman, CEO, and president. "We’ve never dealt with anything like this before, and we know our customers haven’t either. We appreciate their patience and loyalty as we navigate these changing times. We are committed to doing all we can to keep our customers and employees healthy and safe, and to being the helpful smile in every aisle that is needed during this time.”