OAK PARK, Mich. (FOX 2) - Dollar General is changing its hours at stores across the country to better serve Americans amid the coronavirus crisis by opening the first hour for seniors only.
Dollar General announced the plans late Monday, saying that the first hour of operations every day will be solely for the shopping needs of senior customers.
People over 60 are most vulnerable to the virus and Dollar General said this move is keeping with the company's mission of serving others. The company said doing this will help senior shoppers avoid busier and more crowded shopping periods and hopefully reduce the chances of catching coronavirus from someone who may not even know they're carrying the virus.
The first hour, typically 8 to 9, depending on location, is for seniors only. All other shoppers can enter after 9 a.m.
Dollar General also said it would close an hour earlier to allow employees to clean and restock shelves.
"In keeping with our mission and our ongoing commitment to serve our communities, we are dedicating the first hour of each day to seniors. We appreciate our customers' understanding of our decision and request they visit our stores later in the morning to allow at-risk populations the ability to purchase the items they need at affordable prices," said Todd Vasos, Dollar General's CEO. "During these unprecedented times, Dollar General is diligently working to meet the ongoing needs of our customers and communities. We are proud to live our mission and provide customers with everyday low prices on the household essentials that are used and replenished most often."
Since the first cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in Michigan on March 10, Gov. Whitmer has declared a state emergency, closed all schools, prohibited gatherings of more than 250 people, restricted visits to hospitals and other facilities, closed public spaces such as theaters, bars, gyms and casinos, and limited restaurants to carry-out and delivery orders.
Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu.
Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever.
Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.
Right now there's one big difference between flu and coronavirus: A vaccine exists to help prevent the flu and it's not too late to get it. It won't protect you from catching the coronavirus but may put you in a better position to fight it.
To protect yourself, wash your hands well and often, keep them away from your face, and avoid crowds and standing close to people.
And if you do find yourself showing any of these flu or coronavirus symptoms - don't go straight to your doctor's office. That just risks making more people sick, officials urge. Call ahead, and ask if you need to be seen and where.
FOX 2 is working to keep you up to date with coronavirus, with both local and national developments. Every weekday we're live at 1 p.m. with a special show reporting the latest news, prevention tips and treatment information.
You can also get the latest coronavirus news from around the country at coronavirusnow.com.