Reusable Bag Comeback

Safe Shopping Policies Update

The health of our community is more important than ever to your co-op. During this pandemic, our goal continues to stay open, providing you with a vital grocery service, as safely as possible. Here is an update on our safe shopping policies as we ease some restrictions and maintain others.

You can once again bring reusable shopping bags to the co-op. We had been restricting their use; however, a few things have changed. Recent CDC guidelines suggest coronavirus transmission through surfaces is less of a threat than previously suspected. That coupled with the fact that paper bags are increasingly difficult to source, and the planet-friendly aspect of reusables made the decision clear. For now, we ask that you keep your reusable bags in the cart at checkout and do your own bagging.We are easing a few other restrictions:

  • You can once again bring reusable dairy bottles and other cans/bottles with deposits back in the store. Just talk to one of our friendly greeters outside if you have any of these items to redeem.
  • We are now accepting cash; however, to limit exposure, we prefer credit cards and contactless payment methods such as Apple Pay whenever possible.

While we are easing some policies, we will keep others in place for the foreseeable future. One of our most noticeable policies is a mask/face covering requirement. Most of our staff and shoppers have expressed support for this. According to the CDC and an overwhelming and growing body of scientists, SARS-CoV-2 is primarily spread from person to person via respiratory droplets and masks or face coverings help prevent the spread.

As Oregon’s phase two includes reopening of hotels and other short-term lodging in Astoria, we anticipate more visitors; however, we do not plan to relax our policy on limiting the number of customers in the store. Keeping in line with advice from public health experts, we want people to have plenty of space to safely work and shop.

If you’re not comfortable coming in the store, or you simply desire the convenience of online shopping, we’ve expanded our curbside grocery pickup program to everyone seven days per week. This is a community service that your co-op is currently offering for free. Please visit our web site for more information.

Here are some of the other measures we are taking to keep our employees and shoppers happy and healthy:

  • Requiring masks/face coverings
  • Limiting number of customers in store at one time
  • Social distancing reminders (at least six feet)
  • Asking customers to sanitize hands upon entry
  • Installation of hand washing machines and hand sanitizing dispensers throughout store
  • You touch it, you buy it policy for fresh produce
  • Reduction of certain bulk bins and restricting reusable bulk containers
  • Staff person at entrance sanitizing carts after each use and safe shopping education
  • Regular sanitation of frequent touch points
  • Installation of air scrubbers in HVAC system
  • Temporary closure of seating area, hot bar, salad bar and taqueria
  • Temporary reduction in hours to allow for crowd-free re-stocking
  • Plexiglass protection barriers at check stands
  • Daily employee wellness screens
  • Expansion of sick pay benefits
  • Additional $2/hr. “hero pay” for employees plus an additional week paid time off

If you have any questions or comments about our safe shopping policies, we ask that you do not direct those toward our staff on the sales floor but contact General Manager Matt Stanley.