Local stores use barriers, gloves to protect against COVID-19

WWNY Local stores use barriers, gloves to protect against COVID-19

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - From putting up barriers between customers and cashiers to wearing gloves during work, businesses that are still open are taking precautions in order to keep both their employees and customers safe.

When you walk into a Kinney Drugs store, you'll notice something a little different. Plexiglass barriers are hanging between employees and customers at its pharmacies and front registers.

“It’s kind of startling the first time you see it, but it works great,” said Jeffrey Kirkby, supervising pharmacist at Kinney Drugs on Coffeen Street in Watertown.

The shields are there to prevent potential transmission of viruses through droplets caused by coughs and sneezes. The shields were put up in all Kinney Drug locations within the last week.

"This was a local effort. We based it with ACE hardware right in Gouverneur and our construction crew got these manufactured, distributed and installed in about 48 hours," said Kirkby.

To keep customers distanced, the store also has markings on the ground near registers, instructing people to wait behind them until the next cashier is available.

Some grocery stores like Hannaford also have shields between customers and cashiers. At one store, they're having the two parties set down money and receipts on the counter, so there's no touching during the exchange.

And at Stratton Hardware in Watertown, employees are all wearing gloves now and constantly cleaning surfaces.

"Washing all the touch points several times a day, if not 100 times a day, as much as we can. A customer comes in and leaves, we try to go behind them and clean everything where they've gone through the store," said Mike Stratton, co-owner, Stratton Hardware.

Stratton is also hoping a shipment of N-95 masks will come in soon and he'll have his employees wear those too.

While the precautions are to keep customers at ease and feel comfortable coming in, they're just as much in place to protect employees as well.

“I’ve got family members that work here with me so I want to keep them safe and my employees I want to keep safe; they’re like family members too so we want everybody to be healthy and not spread this thing around,” said Stratton.

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