Our top priority at Village Super Market, Inc. has always been the safety of our Associates and our customers. This has never been more true than during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we’re committed to doing everything possible to protect our Associates and keep them informed about all developments regarding COVID-19.
We use CDC guidelines to guide our actions, and we’ve been ahead of the industry in implementing so many of the things you see in your stores today. We’ve spared no effort in combatting the coronavirus in the workplace:
On an hourly basis, Associates are disinfecting common touchpoints and work areas with Red Puroxcide, a virucide that is proven to destroy the coronavirus.
- On an hourly basis, Associates are disinfecting common touchpoints and work areas with Red Puroxcide, an EPA approved virucide.
- Each night, closing managers are disinfecting all food prep areas, bathrooms, and breakrooms with Red Puroxcide; our floor care company then comes at night to sanitize the store.
- Twice weekly, each store undergoes a “fogging” service using Decon 30, another EPA approved virucide. We disinfect all high touch areas, prep surfaces, food areas, and carts. Even though the fogging protocol is designed for disinfecting a store after a confirmed positive COVID-19, we do this proactively twice a week to ensure the safety of our Associates and guests.
- The Blue Squares for Social Distancing program allows customers and Associates to maintain six-foot distances from each other as recommended by the CDC.
- We’ve implemented reduced occupancy procedures in our stores so we can all maintain this social distance, and we’ve limited the maximum number of people that can be in work areas to ensure our Associates are able to do this.
- We’ve installed plexiglass shields at all registers, Guest Services, and Pharmacies to further protect our Associates when social distancing isn’t possible.
- We have a robust temperature check procedure to ensure Associates and vendors aren’t showing symptoms when they arrive at work.
- We provide masks, gloves, and face shields for our Associates and have a comprehensive protocol on usage and storage. Our vendors are also required to wear masks, and we require our customers to wear face coverings in order to enter the store.
- Our Associates now have t-shirts that make it easy to ask our customers to “Please Stay Back” and respect your social distance! Don’t be afraid to politely ask them to give you space if they are inside of six feet.
- We provide Red Puroxcide for our Associates to take home; you can use the same virucidal spray we use in our stores to protect your families!
We know that it’s difficult to wear a mask all day and to keep six feet away from all of our customers and co-workers. However, it’s the most effective tool we have in preventing the spread of the disease; many people who have coronavirus exhibit no symptoms but can still spread the virus to others. Wear the mask for the people around you that you care about, if not for yourself — wearing masks saves lives, and that’s no exaggeration. Don’t be exposed, wear your mask over your nose!
Ali and Laura Sumas have created a great video on the importance of proper mask usage, and who you’re really protecting by wearing them:
Our leadership team have also created a video about how to use your new t-shirts to tell customers to respect your space and give you six feet of room, for your safety and for theirs. You may see some people you know dancing to a familiar tune — check out the video!
In addition, we have several mechanisms of support that you can rely on; most of you are already aware of the Village Associate Care & Callout Line (1-888-504-0011) as a place you can turn to for guidance on and to speak about your concerns in the workplace. If you’re feeling anxious about coming to work, please don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call us!
We’ve also created theVillage Care Connection Text System (844-551-7799) to provide our Associates with alerts regarding COVID-19, volunteer for cross-training or to work additional shifts, and to receive important updates about Village Super Market. Simply text your employee ID or badge number to this line and answer the questions when prompted. If you’d like further guidance, our Care & Callout Line representatives can help guide you.
What if someone in my store is diagnosed with COVID-19?
In the event that someone at your store is diagnosed, there’s no need to panic! Our procedure is guided by CDC recommendations and our safety procedures mean that there is minimal risk to our Associates. In the event of a diagnosis:
- The Associate will not be allowed in the workplace until they have been cleared to do so.
- We will notify any colleagues who may have been in close contact for a prolonged period of time, and are asking them to closely monitor their symptoms;
- In addition to following CDC protocols, we’ll implement our own enhanced sanitation process that includes all workspaces used by the Associate and common areas.
Trust the process
Resist the urge to listen to rumors; they start easily when people are anxious and spread misinformation and panic which helps no one. In the event of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, our Care & Callout Center will notify your store immediately. Transparency is our policy because it promotes safety and trust — you should never forget that your safety is always our first priority.
Trust the protocol
You know about our rigorous disinfecting protocol that goes above and beyond the CDC’s recommendations for disinfecting our stores. We’ve adopted such a policy for exactly this type of scenario — we are continuously disinfecting our workspaces, public areas, restrooms, breakrooms, and high-touch places such as conveyor belts, credit card keypads, and shopping carts. We’ve also trained you on hygiene protocols, such as regular hand washing and coughing into your elbow, which are potent weapons against the virus. Due to these policies, our stores will have been cleaned multiple times by the time we receive confirmation of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.
Continue to practice the basics
The easiest steps are some of the most effective ones:
- Wash your hands frequently, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds.
- If you cough or sneeze, do it into your elbow and be sure to wash your hands.
- Don’t touch your face; this is the primary way that viruses are transmitted.
- Maintain a social distance of 6-feet, for your safety and for others.
- If you’re sick, stay at home! Just call the Care & Callout Center (1-888-504-0011) and they will notify the store
Practice your compassion.
We’re proud of the amazing dedication to duty that our Associates are demonstrating and their commitment to keeping our stores safe for our customers and their fellow co-workers. We also must not forget to practice our compassion and kindness to each other and to those affected by illness because we’re all in this together. Please understand that your co-workers and customers may be anxious due to the ongoing pandemic, and we should do our best to practice patience and compassion. We’re all in this together!