Pritzker To Roll Out New Grocery Store Safety Measures To Enforce Social Distancing, Less Crowding

WBBM Newsradio Staff
March 28, 2020 - 4:22 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Gov. Pritzker outlined new measures for grocery shopping to enhance social distancing safety as coronavirus cases take hold in the state.

Pritzker said more grocery stores will soon enact stricter rules to make sure shoppers aren't crowding the stores. He said stories will have tape on the ground to mark the six-feet distance when standing in line, shield guards at registers and plans to temporarily ban reusable bags, using cash and in-person deliveries.

He said stores will also have dedicated staff regularly walking the floor to make sure customers follow social distancing, which still remains difficult for few residents to follow.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker listens to a question after announcing a shelter in place order to combat the spread of the Covid-19 virus, during a news conference Friday, March 20, 2020, in Chicago.
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

“I’m not sure why people are ignoring this,” Pritzker said. “People are going to die if you don’t obey the rules.”

Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said the best way to avoid spreading the virus remains what we have heard: stay home and stay away from people. 

"I am sounding like a broken record because the truth remains the truth," Ezike said.

Saturday saw another jump in cases, with 465 new cases and 13 new deaths, including a Chicago infant. Chicago has seen 12 deaths and 1,610 positive cases, though many have recovered. Illinois cases now stand at 3,491. 

RELATED: Where To Find Resources During Shelter In Place

Pritzker encourages online ordering, curbside pickup and self-checkout lanes at grocery stores. While some grocery stores have already enacted these measures, others are late to the game. People have complained on social media that grocery stores remain packed with people with no social distancing space, which goes against the state's stay at home order and CDC guidelines. 

Retailers such as Whole Foods, Tony's Fresh Market, Target, Jewel-Osco and Mariano's have also created dedicated shopping hours for seniors to shop for groceries without crowds of other people. Click here to see each store's schedule.