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Coronavirus

Where can older shoppers go early for groceries? Here’s a list of stores.

Businesses in Wichita and across the country have set aside special hours or days for older shoppers during the coronavirus crisis.

Seniors and people with underlying medical conditions are at higher risk of severe illness if they become infected with the coronavirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Grocery stores and other businesses have set aside time for those customers to shop without increased interactions with others.

Larry Weber, 67, of Wichita said Thursday he went to Dillons near Rock and Central a few minutes before the grocery store opened at 7 a.m., the time for seniors to shop an hour ahead of the public. There were about 50 people in line, he said. He then headed to Costco on East Kellogg for the 8 a.m. opening for seniors. He was second in line when he arrived at about 7:25 a.m. but he estimated 200 had lined up by the time the doors opened.

“I believe those at greater risk, the seniors in such, should be given greater priority to get in and get out,” Weber said, adding he didn’t hoard but bought what he needed. “You just learn to adjust right now and so that’s the thing, If everybody just thinks of everybody and keeps adjusting and working towards it we will be through this before you know it.”

Stores have designated different times and days for shoppers. Not all companies defined the age of seniors.

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Dillons designated 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. Monday through Thursday for seniors 60-plus and people with underlying medical conditions.

Walmart set aside 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. every Tuesday until April 28 for customers 60 and older.

Whole Foods Market will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. each day for people 60-plus.

Target will reserve the first hour of each Wednesday for shoppers with higher risks. Opening hours differ by location and can be found at target.com.

Trader Joe’s will keep an additional line outside for seniors during its first hour of operation from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Walgreens customers 55-plus can shop from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Tuesdays. Caregivers and immediate family can also visit during that time. The drive-through will also be open for household items from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Sam’s Club will be open for seniors, people with disabilities and other higher-risk populations from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. A “Shop from Your Car” will also be available during those times at designated parking spots.

Costco Wholesale will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays for people 60-plus.

Aldi dedicated 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays for seniors, expectant mothers and people with underlying health concerns.

Dollar General is designating the first hour of each day to seniors. Store hours differ. Store locations and times can be found at dollargeneral.com.

Michael Stavola covers breaking news at The Wichita Eagle. He’s won a national and several state awards during his five years of working at newspapers in Kansas. He plans to finish his MBA at Wichita State University in spring 2020. Michael likes to exercise, hunt and spend time with his wife and their dog, Marley.
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