WATSONVILLE—Several local supermarkets are offering senior-only shopping hours in light of COVID-19, which poses a particular risk to seniors and the medically vulnerable.
In Watsonville, Safeway is open to seniors and at-risk shoppers every Tuesday and Thursday from 7-9 a.m.; Target dedicates its first hour of shopping (8-9 a.m.) every Wednesday to that population; Food Maxx on Tuesdays and Thursdays is open for seniors and those with compromised health from 6-9 a.m.; and Cardenas is open 6-7 a.m. for seniors and first responders.
Nob Hill, meanwhile, is not holding senior shopping hours but, instead, is offering a “Senior Essential Bag” that can be picked up curbside or in store. There are bags of $20 and $35 that contain a mix of fresh items and freshly cooked entrees, among other things.
Around the county, senior-only hours are also in place at Staff of Life, Whole Foods and New Leaf Community Markets.
The coronavirus strain known as COVID-19 prompted many businesses to close their doors and limit hours, especially after the county established a shelter-in-place order that started on March 17. County residents are now forbidden from leaving their homes, except for essential activities like trips to the grocery store, pharmacy, bank, hardware store, or gas station. Restaurants are open for take-out and food deliveries only.
The combination of anxiety and government orders has shoppers stocking up on canned goods and other groceries. Local officials have asked people to stop hoarding food.
According to the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency, there are 25 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county as of Wednesday morning. There are more than 2,600 cases in California alone.
Editor’s note: Good Times Editor Jake Pierce contributed to this report.