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Coronavirus in Pennsylvania

Food Lines Begin in Schuylkill County – Walmart Implements Distancing Rules for Shoppers

walmart social distance coronavirus saint clair

We’re not trying to be alarmists. It’s just that seeing people lined up outside a grocery store isn’t a good look.

Walmart announced Friday that starting this weekend, it will limit the amount of shoppers inside the store to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus.

Though a statement from Walmart COO Dacona Smith indicates these guidelines would start Saturday, someone on Twitter spotted a queue of shoppers standing outside the Walmart in Saint Clair on Friday.

walmart saint clair social distance

“While many of our customers have been following the advice of the medical community regarding social distancing and safety, we have been concerned to still see some behaviors in our stores that put undue risk on our people. We want to encourage customers to bring the fewest number of people per family necessary to shop, allow for space with other customers while shopping, and practice social distancing while waiting in lines,” Smith says.

Again, these aren’t the “bread lines” that were hallmarks of the Great Depression. It’s just a sad sight to see our community reduced to this in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus.

New Walmart Coronavirus Shopping Rules

Here are the social distancing rules when going to shop at Walmart in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

5 Customers Per 1,000 Square Feet

Starting Saturday (or now here in Schuylkill County), Walmart will only allow 5 customers per 1,000 square feet of store space. Walmart says that’s 20% of an average store’s capacity.

Single Entry, Single Exit

Based on what we’re seeing and hearing, if you’re shopping the Walmart in Saint Clair, it appears the “grocery entrance” to the store will be the lone entrance. If the store hits its new maximum capacity, a store associate will stop the flow of shoppers inside. That means waiting in line outside the store. Shoppers will be ushered through the “pharmacy” side entrance from the Saint Clair Walmart.

1 Out, 1 In

When the store hits its maximum capacity, shoppers will be allowed in after another leaves. We’re not sure if this means a family of shoppers will be counted as 1 shopper but to avoid hearing grief from the non-deputized social distance warriors out there, it’s best to limit your shopping team to just the necessary people.

“We always want people to feel welcome at Walmart, and we know that in ordinary times a store is a gathering place for members of a community to connect and socialize. We look forward to the time when that is again the case; however, we now want to prioritize health and safety by encouraging customers to do their shopping at a distance from others, then head home,” Smith says in a statement from Walmart.

One-Way Aisles

Expect to see one-way shopping aisles through the store. Walmart is doing this to avoid shoppers crossing paths too often. They ask that people not ride up on other shoppers if they’re trying to navigate these shopping aisles.

Social Distancing Everywhere

Walmart expects shoppers to maintain the recommended 6 feet of social distancing from each other in the store, including the checkout lines. It didn’t appear to be adhered to in that line outside the store, though.

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  1. LINDA

    April 3, 2020 at 9:56 pm

    Its been that way out in Colorado WM’s And, you can only purchase food items, paper goods, diapers and health and beauty aids. No makeup, shoes, clothing etc If you need new socks and underwear, you are not buying then at WM.

  2. Edward Dragan

    April 3, 2020 at 11:02 pm

    I was at the GIANT food store today (Friday) 4/3/2020 at the Cressona mall at 12:30pm. The store was jam packed with shoppers. I saw about 12 shoppers in the store wearing masks and only 1 Giant employee wearing a mask. There was NO social distance between shoppers at all. I was wearing a mask and eye protection. I was in total shock at how most shoppers were not wearing any masks or protection. I have been following COVID 19 for 3 months via CNN, ABC NEWS, Press meetings around the entire world. All I can say is this, WAKE UP SCHUYLKILL COUNTY PENNSYLVANIA! You are only a few hours from New York City.

  3. Jane

    April 21, 2020 at 1:44 am

    Walmart brought this on themselves. They went from having 24 hours to shop Down to 13, therefore condensing their customers. I was a late night shopper normally
    but now I have to shop during peak hours.
    Also if they had more associates filling the grocery orders placed online and picked up on the parking lot they could eliminate the number of shoppers in the store n
    Believe me if I didn’t have to go in that store I wouldn’t. Have tried numerous times in the last 3
    Weeks to get a pick up time and it is a 3-4 day wait. By the time you get a pick up time most of what you have in your cart is now “out of stock”.

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