Hy-Vee, Inc. has announced that, in response to customer requests, it will be reserving one hour of shopping time prior to its new opening time each day for customers considered “high-risk.” The reserved hour will be from 7:00 to 8:00 a.m., seven days a week, and is designed for these customers: ages 60 and older, expectant mothers, and anyone with an underlying health condition(s) that makes him/her more susceptible to serious illness. This does include Tarkio Hy-Vee.

“We are extremely concerned about the spread of this virus, and want to respond to our customers who are at higher risk of serious illness by offering them a time where they may feel a bit safer shopping in our stores,” said Randy Edeker, Hy-Vee’s chairman, CEO and president.

Pharmacies in most Hy-Vee locations will also be extending their hours so they can serve this group of customers from 7:00 to 8:00 a.m. These locations include pharmacies inside Hy-Vee grocery stores, Mainstreet locations, Dollar Fresh stores and Hy-Vee Drugstores.

All other customers are asked to please respect this hour reserved for these at-risk customers, and limit their shopping to Hy-Vee’s new store hours of 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., seven days a week. “We know that our customers are facing some very challenging times right now, and we want to do all we can to help them,” Edeker said. “We hope this new reserved shopping hour helps our customers feel a bit more secure while we work together as a community to help keep everyone healthy and safe.”

Hy-Vee, Inc. announced on Thursday, March 19, additional changes to its operations in response to the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Effective Friday, March 20, customers will no longer be allowed to bring in reusable bags until further notice since it is difficult to monitor their cleanliness. Because it is not always easy to know the sanitization procedures customers are taking at their homes to keep the bags clean, this is one more way the grocer is helping prevent the spread of the virus.

Customers also will start seeing temporary window panels installed at checkouts to help provide an additional layer of protection for both our employees and customers. These panels are being installed at the checkout, as this is the point in the store visit where customers and employees are in the closest contact. In the aisles or at our service counters, customers and employees have more flexibility in placing distance between themselves, but the setup of the checkout limits that ability. These panels are in place in the Des Moines-area stores, and will be installed in all other Hy-Vee locations over the next few days.

“The spread of this virus is asking us all to take extraordinary measures and change the way we live our lives,” said Edeker. “We are continuing to adapt at Hy-Vee so that we can serve our customers and keep everyone in our stores as safe and healthy as possible.”