The California Grocers Association (CGA), in collaboration with Gov. Gavin Newsom and labor leaders, announced statewide safety standards that will help ensure consistent practices in all essential retail stores, including grocery, to enhance protection for employees and shoppers and prevent the spread of Covid-19. Some of the standards were formalized through an Executive Order issued April 16 by Newsom.
Ron Fong, CGA president and CEO, released the following statement:
“The top priority of every grocery store is the health and safety of their employees and shoppers, which has taken on increased importance during this public health crisis. We welcome the opportunity to partner with labor to ensure consistent standards to protect employees and shoppers and help prevent the spread of Covid-19.
“Ever since this public health crisis emerged more than a month ago, grocery stores throughout the state have undertaken new and evolving safety steps with the specific objective of protecting their employees and shoppers and preventing the spread of the Covid-19. Some of these changes are visible such as plexiglass shields, one- way aisles, disinfecting carts, social distancing tape and masks. Others are less visible to the consumer such as increased cleanings, more frequent employee handwashing and more.
“Today’s announcement expands on safety efforts already underway and provides added comfort to valued grocery store employees and customers that a consistent set of best practices is being followed by all essential retailers, regardless of size and location. It also provides greater clarity to store owners in what has been a rapidly evolving flow of information from local, state and federal officials.
“The governor’s executive order will ensure paid sick leave for all employees of essential retail companies with more than 500 employees who test positive of Covid-19. The hardworking men and women at grocery stores throughout the state have already been dedicated to keeping stores clean and re-stocking shelves as rapidly as possible so consumers can purchase food and essential needs.
“Finally, please remember when you do shop that we are making progress getting our supply chains back to normal after weeks of over-buying. Some products will take longer to consistently see on store shelves, but every effort is being made to return the shopping experience to as close to normal during these times.”
Consumers can help out by continuing to “Buy Smart. Don’t Overfill Your Cart.” There is #Enough4All (enoughforallca.com).
CGA is also encouraging Californians to follow the directives of local health experts and go to the grocery store only when absolutely essential. Consumers are being encouraged to use grocery delivery services or shop online whenever possible and follow safety guidelines when they must shop in a store.