LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Smith’s Food & Drug Store associates are on the frontlines, ensuring everyone has access to the food, services, and products they need during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
The grocery store chain, a company of The Kroger Co., says they are committed to protecting the health and safety of their associates.
“We’ve let our associates know that they are permitted to wear protective masks and gloves. There is a national shortage of personal protective equipment and we fully support America’s health care workers having first priority to obtain the equipment they need. Smith’s is advocating to government officials at all levels for help securing a priority place in line for all grocery workers, after health care workers, to have access to protective masks and gloves,” said Aubriana Martindale, Smith’s corporate affairs manager.
Smith’s Food & Drug Store has enhanced daily sanitation practices, including cleaning commonly used areas including cashier stations, self-checkouts, credit card terminals, food service counters, and shelves.
Smith’s will be installing plexiglass partitions at many cash registers, to further promote physical distancing. Many stores are beginning the installation process this week, and they want every check lane to have a partition, including pharmacy counters and Starbucks registers by the end of next week.
There will be educational floor decals to promote physical distancing at check lanes and other counters.
Smith’s has also adjusted store operating hours from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm to allow more time for associates to rest, clean and replenish inventory.
Kroger has enacted emergency leave guidelines, allowing paid time off for associates diagnosed with COVID-19, placed under mandatory quarantine and paid time off for self-isolation and symptoms as verified by an accredited health care professional. Kroger says all eligible associates will receive their standard pay for up to two weeks, 14 days.
For those affected by COVID-19, the organization has also made available additional resources through the Kroger Family of Companies Helping Hands fund to provide financial assistance to associates who face hardship due to COVID-19, including lack of access to childcare and for those considered at higher risk.
“We believe all these steps will help to ensure the safety of our associates and help our communities to flatten the curve while at the same time meeting our obligation to be there for our customers,” said Aubriana Martindale, Smith’s corporate affairs manager.