Kroger plans to add plexiglass partitions at cash registers to help shield employees from the spread of Coronavirus and Walmart is doing the same.
The grocery retailers are also adding signage in stores to help remind shoppers about the need for social distancing - remaining six feet apart - during this global COVID-19 pandemic, they said.
Walmart has started installing the plexiglass barriers, or sneeze guards, at pharmacy lanes in both Walmart and Sam’s Club stores and will install the guards at regular Walmart registers over the next two to three weeks, according to a Tuesday night blog post by the executive vice president and chief operating officer for Walmart U.S.
"Staying safe and healthy is more important than ever for our associates, our customers and for us. Installing these barriers is another way Walmart is helping bring peace of mind that we are doing everything we can to keep our people and our stores safe," Dacona Smith said in the blog post.
Kroger said the installations will begin this week and partitions will be installed at every checklane, pharmacy counter and Starbucks register in the company's stores.
"We are also installing educational floor decals to promote physical distancing at checklanes and other counters," the news release said.
In addition, Kroger said it is asking government leaders for help in acquiring protective masks and gloves for employees since they are "on the frontlines of the coronavirus crisis, ensuring Americans have access to food, services and other products during this unprecedented pandemic."
Kroger, which earlier this month announced plans to hire dozens more employees, said it continues to "enhance daily sanitation practices," including increased cleaning of commonly used areas such as cashier stations, self-checkouts, credit card terminals, food service counters and shelves.
"These and other recently announced steps will help Kroger ensure the safety of associates and help our communities flatten the curve while at the same time meeting our obligation to be there for our customers," the news release said.
Kroger acknowledged that personal protective equipment is in short supply across the country, and said it fully supports America’s health care workers having first priority for those items. The company said it is asking government officials at all levels for help securing a priority place for all grocery workers, after health care workers, to have access to protective masks and gloves.