LAKEWOOD, Colo., March 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Over the past few days, so many of you have been in our stores stocking up on all the essential things you need to keep your families healthy.
We want you to know that your health is our priority.
We've always taken great pride in our clean and well-run stores, and we know this is more important than ever right now. We were recently rated as one of the cleanest grocery stores in America by Consumer Reports. We are diligently focusing on these standards even more so until the coronavirus passes. On top of our daily cleaning procedures, we're adding new processes to make our routines even more rigorous. This means more time will be spent cleaning our stores, including cleaning commonly used areas more often, including check-out-lanes, credit card terminals, conveyor belts and cleaning shelves when restocking. During every shopping cart collection we will be cleaning our shopping cart handles and the child sitting area. Cashiers will be cleaning the handles of our hand baskets prior to returning them to the hand basket area. Additionally, we are providing cleaning wipes and/or sprays for customers to use to clean their shopping carts or baskets. Many of our stores already have hand sanitizer at the store's entrance; those that don't will have it within two weeks. Like many others, we're taking guidance from the CDC, which recommends regular cleaning as one of the most important preventive measures we can take.
Commitment to our good4u Crew is one of our Five Founding Principles. We have never penalized Crew for calling out sick and we're encouraging sick Crew to stay home. We have always provided our Crew with paid sick leave via our Paid Time Off policy, whereby Crew members accumulate PTO banks that can be used to cover time away from work. Additionally, we will be providing up to 2 weeks of paid leave to all Crew (both full-time and part-time) if they are diagnosed with COVID-19 or if they are placed under mandatory quarantine by public health authorities. If a Crew member is unable to return to work after that, additional pay replacement may be provided for up to an additional 12 weeks under our short-term disability benefit.
We have provided and continue to provide our Crew with up-to-the moment guidance, information and immune supporting health tips so they can keep themselves and their families as healthy as possible. All store Crew at their discretion are being provided with a daily packet of NOW effervescent vitamin C to help support their immune system. We are also limiting travel to business-essential travel only.
Our Crew is working diligently to make sure that the products you want are available when you need them. As demand for cleaning products, supplements, pantry stock-up items, toilet paper and more remains high we are asking that you purchase only what you need and do not horde products. This will help support the health and wellbeing of our communities. During times of community-spread illness, it is critical for our communal health that all people can find the products they need to support their health and the health of their families. This is not possible if a few people purchase more than they need.
Our company was founded to help improve the health and wellbeing of our communities and help all our families to thrive. We are working hard to take care of our Crew and to keep our stores clean, stocked and open so that we can be there for you and your family.
The Isely Family
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SOURCE Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc.