Many local stores, like other businesses, are making changes as they try to adapt to the landscape of a country trying to slow the spread of COVID-19. Some are changing hours, others are closing. No grocery stores or pharmacies in the area have announced closings, but some have announced other changes.


Dollar General


An email to media outlets said Dollar General is strongly encouraging that the first hour of operations each day be dedicated solely for the shopping needs of senior customers, who are one of the groups most vulnerable to the COVID-19 coronavirus.


“In keeping with our mission and our ongoing commitment to serve our communities, we are dedicating the first hour of each day to seniors. We appreciate our customers’ understanding of our decision and request they visit our stores later in the morning to allow at-risk populations the ability to purchase the items they need at affordable prices,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s CEO in an emailed statement.


Additionally, the stores will be closing an hour earlier each day to allow staff increased time for cleaning and restocking.


Albertsons in Sherman and Denison


Director of Public Relations and Communications Christy Lara said all Albertsons in North Texas have changed their hours until further notice. The hours are now 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.


Kroger in Sherman


Neither Kroger nor its Pharmacy in Sherman plans to change its hours, according to information from Kroger Corporate Affairs Manager April Martin in an email. She said the chain does have immediate positions available combined across retail stores, manufacturing plants and distribution centers. Candidates may apply via, jobs.kroger.com, and could be placed for employment within several days of applying.


She said they are also adding extra hand sanitizer stations at cashiers, food service counters, and in the pharmacies, The Little Clinic and Starbucks locations. They will also be increasing the wipe downs given to shopping carts, baskets and equipment. In addition, the chain will continue to provide customers with wipes to clean the baskets and carts as they enter the store.


They are also asking their associates to stay home if they are ill or if someone in their household is sick. She said associates who lose pay by doing so will be provided help through their helping hands fund which is a company-sponsored employee assistance fund.


Walgreens in Sherman and Denison


Beginning Thursday, all Walgreens will change their operating hours.


A statement from Walgreens Media Relations person Scott Goldberg said the weekday hours will be from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. He said stores that have normally had 24-hour pharmacies will continue to do so and limited no prescription items may be picked up through the drive-thru even after the rest of the store is closed. He said those hours will apply to weekends too except that pharmacy hours on the weekends will largely remain the same.


“By operating with reduced hours, our stores will be able to spend the necessary time, while closed, cleaning, sanitizing and stocking shelves each day. We’re also adjusting our hours to help team members and customers feel comfortable and safe to shop our store during this time,” said Walgreens President, Richard Ashworth in the statement. “We’re continuing to work around the clock to do everything we can to ensure our customers have access to the care, products and services they need.”


The Medicine Shoppe in Denison


They deliver for free anywhere in the city limits of Denison. They advise people who are feeling ill or think they might be ill to use the drive through if they don’t use delivery.


Kristin Glezman, pharmacist owner, said they have not changed their hours. have been working hard to try to anticipate the things that will be needed and order extra supplies before things go on back order status. She said they are now stocked up on things like cold and flu over the counter meds. They have seen back orders on things like alcohol and face masks like everyone else.


She said she is somewhat concerned that there might eventually be back orders on prescription medications and suppliers try to limit what they give each store so they can give all stores some amount of the most commonly asked for drugs. She said she would advise people to give their pharmacies extra time to fill refills. That way, she said, if there is a shortage of a certain strength of a medication, the pharmacist has time to consult the doctor and see what changes can be made to accommodate that shortage.


That may mean getting a prescription for twice as many pills of a lower strength in something or half as many in a higher strength that can then be halfed. She said there are a lot of work-arounds that doctors and pharmacists can do if they have time to put their heads together and work on the situation. The last thing anyone wants in a patient going without their medication.


Catherines


Catherines at Town Center, like all Catherines stores across the country will be closed from Wednesday through March 28.


“Our associates are at the heart of what we do, and they will be paid for their scheduled shifts during this time,” said a statement sent out to Catherine’s customers. The email said customers could still shop online and that Catherines Rewards members will receive free shipping on purchases over $49. The company is looking into ways to get items that were shipped to the stores to their purchasers.


For more information on the coronavirus, visit: http//www.HeraldDemocrat.com/Coronavirus.