The California Grocers Association (CGA), Gov. Gavin Newsom and labor leaders this week announced statewide safety standards to ensure consistent practices in all essential retail stores, including grocery, enhancing protections for employees and shoppers and preventing the spread of COVID-19. Some of the standards were formalized through an Executive Order issued by Newsom.
“The top priority of grocery stores is the health and safety of employees and shoppers which has taken on increased importance during this public health crisis,” said Ron Fong, President and CEO of the California Grocers Association. “We welcome partnering with Gov. Newsom and labor to ensure consistent standards to protect employees and shoppers and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
Grocery stores have been taking steps both visible and not to protect employees and shoppers, including adding Plexiglass shields and placing social distancing signage and tape around stores, as well as increased cleanings and more frequent employee hand washing, Fong said.
“Today’s announcement expands on safety efforts already underway and provides added comfort to valued grocery store employees and customers that a consistent set of best practices is being followed by all essential retailers regardless of size and location. It also provides greater clarity to store owners in what has been a rapidly evolving flow of information from local, state and federal officials,” Fong said. “The Governor’s executive order will ensure paid sick leave for all employees of essential retail companies with more than 500 employees who test positive of COVID-19.”
Fong also took the opportunity to remind the public that grocery workers and food suppliers are working diligently to restock shelves and provide a more normal shopping experience after weeks of over-buying. “Consumers can help out by continuing to ‘Buy Smart. Don’t Overfill Your Cart.’ There is #Enough4All (https://enoughforallca.com),” he said.