NORFOLK, Va. — In recent days, people have raced to their local grocery stores looking to stock up on supplies as the number of coronavirus cases rises around the country.
With employers instructing their staff to work from home and schools closing for extended periods of time, it's no wonder people want to make sure their homes are filled to the brim with food and supplies.
However, grocery stores are having a hard time keeping up with the massive influx of customers as they work to keep their stores clean and their shelves stocked.
A number of stores are changing their hours and shifting their operations for that very reason.
Harris Teeter will be closing its stores at 9 p.m. starting Sunday, March 15 until further notice.
Food Lion hasn't reported a change in their store hours, but they did make a statement about increasing the frequency of cleaning their stores as the coronavirus spreads.
They are also encouraging their workers to stay home if they feel sick and have issued travel restrictions for their associates. You can read their full statement here.
Kroger has adjusted its hours of operation to "better serve customers and balance the needs of associates."
On Monday, March 16, stores will open at 6 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. From Tuesday, March 17 until further notice, store hours will be 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The fuel center hours will change to 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The company has also enacted policies to limit the number of cold, flu and sanitary products each customer can purchase. The stores are sanitizing restrooms more often and are restocking soap, paper towels and hand sanitizer more frequently.
Customers will see extra hand sanitizer at cashier stations and around the store.
Starting Sunday, March 15, Walmart stores and Neighborhood Markets will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. until further notice. Stores that are already open with reduced hours (i.e. 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.) will keep their current hours of operation.
says it is increasing how often they clean their stores and are sending additional cleaning supplies for their associates to use at cash registers and on shopping carts.
The company is still determining if they should modify their hours at 24-hour facilities.
They've also enacted a policy that gives their employees more flexibility if they need sick leave and have shared guidelines about company travel over the next few months. You can read more on their response to the coronavirus outbreak here.
ALDI hasn't changed their store hours, but they've notified their customers that they will see quantity limits placed on some of their select products.
The company says it's focused on keeping products with high demand stocked like water, pantry staples, pre-made meals, cleaning supplies and toilet paper.
Wegmans is adjusting their hours of operation temporarily so employees will have more time to clean their stores and restock products. In Virginia and North Carolina, stores will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The company is also encouraging its employees to stay home if they're sick and to increase how often they clean the stores.
Whole Foods is continuing to evaluate the coronavirus outbreak, but they've modified some of its business practices like increasing cleaning at their stores and temporarily suspending food sampling and demos until further notice.
The stores are also removing open-access sample product testers from certain departments.
Employees will increase sanitation on the food bars and customers will find more hand sanitizer stations inside the stores. Read more on how Whole Foods' response here.
Fresh Market isn't modifying their store hours, but they are increasing sanitation in their stores and temporarily suspending self-sampling stations. You can read their statement here.