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Dozens of grocery workers have died from the coronavirus since the outbreak has hit the United States. Even though, they've been given masks, temperature checks, and stores have implemented capacity restrictions.
But supermarkets are considering going the most extreme route: banning customers from the store.
Union leaders, small grocery store owners, and work experts believe it's too dangerous to keep allowing customers to come in and shop for their groceries.
"Careless customers" are "probably the biggest threat" to workers right now, according to Marc Perrone, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers' union.
The union also says that more than 85% of customers do not practice social distancing.
"Anything that reduces the need for interaction with the public and allows for greater physical distancing will ultimately better protect grocery workers," said John Logan, professor and director of Labor and Employment Studies at San Francisco State University. "Shuttering stores and repurposing them for pickup and delivery only would be a positive step."
If this happened, people would have to rely solely on delivery or curbside online pickup. Stores are reluctant to move to fully online ordering because their systems aren't equipped for it.
The United States and California administration encourages customers to start ordering online, so we can avoid going.
"Any store still allowing hundreds of members of the public to enter every day is taking a calculated risk on behalf of their front line staff," MikeHouston said. "That is highly irresponsible to me."
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