Across Connecticut last month, grocery stores were hit hard. There were 5.5 million shoppers who filled the aisles each week, up 1.5 million more than usual.
“This is no longer about toilet paper and disinfectant this is about a pandemic,” said Wayne Pesce, president of the Connecticut Food Association. He says 25,000 grocery store employees are keeping the stores going.
“People need to do their part. People need to shop smart, shop safe, and respect the people that are working in the stores and understand they’re working under adverse conditions,” said Pesce.
At a Wednesday press conference, Governor Ned Lamont ordered grocery stores to cut their capacity to 50 percent. He also says customers should have one person per family do their shopping.
“I just did another order, executive order, this one we just reminded people at grocery stores that we’re not going to allow more than 50 percent of capacities,” said Lamont. “If your grocery store has maybe capacity stipulated for 100 or 150, can’t have more than 50 or 75 in there.”
The orders back the same suggestions the Connecticut Food Association sent out last week. Pesce says they understand not everyone can shop alone, but if they can, they should to help them continue to search for ways to make shopping safer.
“Not only limiting them as they come in but finding ways to get them through the store faster so there’s less contact,” said Pesce.
The New Haven Walmart store is already reducing shoppers to 400 a time. While the line formed outside, Pesce says he doesn’t think lines at stores will last long. He says many of these changes are temporary as the industry works to keep shoppers and employees safe.
“Whether it’s 30 days 60 days or 90 days, almost everything will get back to the way it was.”