Baker-Polito Administration Issues New Guidelines For Supermarkets During Pandemic

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BOSTON – The Baker-Polito administration has updated its March 25 guidance to supermarkets and grocery stores today, April 7.

Each Grocery store shall limit occupancy to 40 percent of its maximum permitted occupancy level as documented in its occupancy permit on record with the municipal building department, in order to provide for in-store social distancing while preserving sufficient access for the public to supplies of food and necessities.

Stores with a maximum occupancy of 25 persons or less are exempt from this requirement.

LocGrocery store staff shall monitor the number of customers entering and exiting the store in order to demonstrate compliance with the maximum permissible occupancy level .

Counts should include customers and employees. .

The local boards of health will enforce the occupancy levels

Grocery stores may calculate and employ an average number for staff per shift in counting employees present in the retail selling space to account for incidental movement of employees in and out of retail selling space, according to the order.

If lines form outside the grocery store, staff should monitor the line to ensure customers are maintaining appropriate distance from each other.

“As grocery stores are a critical provider during this time local boards of heahh should work with these businesses to ensure that food and essential products are available to the public without disruption. Every effort should be made to ensure continued operation of grocery stores. If health concerns develop with respect to the operation of an individual grocery store, local boards of health should make all efforts to address the concerns with the grocery store instead of seeking punitive measures,” states the order.

If a grocery store offers online delivery or curbside pickup capabilities, customers should be encouraged to use those methods before coming into the store.

Grocery stores should communicate with customers through in-store signage and public service announcements.

“Grocery stores are reminded that they must continue to provide alternative hours, at least one hour every day in the early morning, for adults 60 years and older in order to limit their potential exposure. These hours must be conspicuously posted and should be enforced by grocery stores,’ said the state.

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