Arlington, Virginia-based Lidl U.S. has announced the instillation of new air filtration systems, after the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) stated that the COVID-19 virus can be spread through the air. Air filters rated MERV 13 or higher, typically found in hospitals, help filter out COVID-19, according to public health and industry leaders, and will be installed in U.S. stores.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have worked diligently to protect the health of everyone in our stores by meeting or exceeding CDC guidelines, and this measure to create cleaner, healthier air is no different,” said Johannes Fieber, CEO of Lidl U.S. “Customers and team members in Lidl stores can breathe easier knowing we have an added layer of protection against COVID-19.”
Lidl U.S. is among the first national grocery retailers to install hospital-grade air filtration systems across its entire store network. Previously, Lidl stores used advanced commercially rated MERV filtration systems. Epidemiologists and professional associations have recommended using high-efficiency air filters MERV 13 or higher wherever technically feasible to trap small airborne particles that can transmit the virus.
Governors in states where Lidl is expanding applauded the news.
“Since Lidl established its U.S. headquarters in Virginia in 2015, they have been recognized as a company that cares about its employees and workplace safety,” said Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. “As the scientific understanding of COVID-19 continues to evolve, so have the mitigation and safety measures recommended by experts. I congratulate Lidl on their plan to implement extensive safety measures for their employees and customers, and for their continued commitment to protecting the health and safety of Virginians.”
“Lidl is continuing to grow its footprint in Maryland, and we are proud that the company is taking these proactive steps to keep their customers safe, as well as protect the well-being of all of their local employees,” said Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan. “As we remain vigilant in combating COVID-19 here in Maryland, it is more important than ever for businesses to offer a clean and healthy environment.”
Lidl operates around 11,200 stores and is active in 32 countries, employing more than 310,000 employees globally. It first established its U.S. headquarters in Arlington County, Virginia, in June 2015, and today sells its award-winning products in more than 110 stores across nine east coast states.