Masks & Hand Washing

By Matt Stanley/General Manager

Another week in our new landscape has passed, and we continue to be inspired by the positivity and incredible adaptability shown by customers and staff alike. These adaptations continue this week:

  • We continue to follow the World Health Organization and Center for Disease Control for our primary information for how to best respond to CoVid. Late last week CDC shifted its stance on wearing masks and is now giving guidance indicating the use of cloth masks in public. The CDC has specific instructions on their webpage on how to do so properly so as to reduce risk of exposure. We are working with several local sewers and craft folks to source masks for co-op staff. By the end of the week we will have supplied all co-op staff with two cloth masks so that they can keep them washed daily. Please understand that we are not requiring staff wear masks and that some people have underlying health conditions which make it dangerous for them to do so. We strongly encourage all shoppers who can wear masks to please wear them while shopping at the co-op in order to protect each other and co-op staff as much as possible. It is now reported that up to 50% of cases are asymptomatic so masks protect others from the wearer.
  • We are now sanitizing all touch points in the store with an 80% alcohol and hydrogen peroxide solution made locally by Pilot House Distilling per a WHO recipe. Thanks Pilot House Distilling for changing gears so quickly to fulfill this local need!
  • We have also installed two hand washing machines in the store. One upon entry and one by the bathroom hallway. Please use the hand washing machine before shopping. It provides an FDA and CDC approved hand wash in 12 seconds. It uses a very mild scent free soap.
  • We are exploring making the center aisles one way traffic to assist in the physical distancing. You have all been doing an excellent job maintaining six feet of distance and we appreciate it! We are working on new floor decals to assist in this process.
  • Our supply issues have normalized and we are seeing less and less out of stocks with each delivery.
  • The co-op continues to remind staff that they should not come to work with ANY flu or cold symptoms. We are also asking them to be on the look out for the strange loss of taste and smell that has been reported. I am acting as the gatekeeper for when folks return to work and we are following CDC guidance for that timeline. The absence of testing requires us to assume that anyone with cold/flu symptoms could be carrying the virus. The co-op is working with staff being asked to stay home for extended periods so that they do not see major financial impacts, either through the Families First Coronovirus Response Act or internal PTO flexibility.
  • I encourage you all to write to our governor and state representatives to implore them to support essential workers in the grocery store industry by providing reduced income taxes or some other incentive. Co-op staff are putting themselves at risk everyday in order to provide healthy food to our community. Here is a link to an industry letter to the house and senate.

Thank you for your ongoing support of your local co-op. We will not see the normal influx of tourist traffic this Spring and Summer most likely so it is imperative that folks shop co-op as much as possible so that we can financially sustain our business. We will continue to adapt to the pandemic in the store and provide you with updates as needed.

You can reach Matt at matt@astoria.coop.

2 thoughts on “Masks & Hand Washing”

  1. I love how much you care about your staff and the community. Your updates are helpful and uplifting. Thank you.

    Reply
  2. Thank you co=op. You were the first to step in to protect your customers and your workers. While Safeway seem to stick their head in the sand and ignore the latest news briefs, you were on top of it. Thank you and I will not only shop there but encourage others to do so.

    Reply

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