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More stores offer senior-only shopping hours, local expert warns that might not be safe

The new policies could be causing more harm than good.
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Posted at 6:58 PM, Mar 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-24 07:30:47-04

TAMPA, Fla. — As more grocery stores and pharmacies offering senior-only shopping hours in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a local expert warns that while these stores have the best intentions, the new policies could be causing more harm than good.

Retailers across the Tampa Bay area stepped up to create a safer shopping environment for older customers and vulnerable customers, but Dr. Bob Wallace, a virus expert, said he has concerns the new, senior-only shopping hours.

LIST: Stores rolling out shopping for seniors, vulnerable guests only

“We still have clerks working in the facilities who may have been exposed – maybe not yet having symptoms but maybe putting people at risk,” said Dr. Wallace.

While some stores now offer morning hours to seniors after the facility has been fully cleaned, Dr. Wallace said there’s no guarantee shoppers will stay healthy.

“I think people are not following the rules when it comes to the six-foot distance (of space to keep from others).”

Dr. Wallace’s advice for seniors is to use curbside pick-up or delivery options for groceries, order medications online when possible or ask a family member to pick up these items.