Coronavirus: Retailers Make Safety Changes for Employees, Shoppers

Costco, Home Depot, Target and other big-box retailers announce changes to help prevent the spread of  COVID-19.

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Home Depot has a new rule for employees: take your temperature before showing up to work.

It's one of many changes big-box retailers are putting in place to slow down the spread of coronavirus. And Home Depot is not alone -- Target, Costco, and Walmart are making big changes shoppers willl notice the next time they visit.

"If we don't take action right now, it could get worse," said Yandy Linares, a Home Depot shopper.

Home Depot said it is handing out thermometers to employees and asking them to take their body temperature before their shift. The home improvement retailer said it is also doing the following:

  • Limiting the number of customers in stores
  • Reminding shoppers through the PA system about physical distancing
  • Closing early to sanitize stores
  • No spring sales to avoid driving customers to stores

Meanwhile, Target said it is buying non-surgical face masks and gloves for employees at the start of every shift. The retailer said it is also ordering plexiglass barriers for cash registers.

"You have to be concerned, period," Linares said. "It's starting to get very serious."

It's starting to get serious at Costco, too. The membership-only warehouse store on Friday started downsizing shoppers by implementing a two-person per card limit.

Seniors and the disabled will be able to shop without having to deal with a line on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 8 to 9 a.m.

Home Depot is offering employees extra pay and expanding its paid time off policy. If a Home Depot employee is infected with COVID-19, the company said it will pay that employee until they are cleared from a doctor to return to work.

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