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Even though Governor Kevin Stitt’s executive order has closed down even more types of businesses, two types are considered essential and still hold risks for COVID-19 infection.

Those businesses that sell gas and groceries are doing more to protect their employees and customers (for the most part) but each individual will need to be aware of their surroundings in order to stay safe.

Getting gas

While paying at the pump may be the safest way to social distance when filling your tank, even inside the station changes are being made to protect customers.

Almost all businesses are implementing extra cleaning routines and have made new policies on sick leave for their employees.

7-11’s corporate office posted an update on their website about their procedures including the suggestion that stores close daily between midnight and 5am to do a thorough cleaning.

However, some local customers have noticed that employees aren’t wearing gloves like they are in many other essential businesses that require person-to-person contact.

We are getting tips from employees and friends that 7-11 employees were told not wear gloves.

7-11 did not return a live call contact by Free Press when asked for comment and did not answer the phone when we tried to call back.

Getting groceries

Grocery stores have remained open for people to buy food and necessities and many stores have policies that include more frequent cleaning and new procedures for employees during the Covid-19 outbreak.

“We continue to encourage grocery shoppers to maintain normal shopping patterns. There is no food shortage and you will never be prohibited from grocery shopping. Therefore, there is no need to hoard food.” said Mayor David Holt in a press conference Tuesday.

Going to the grocery store is going to look a little different for the foreseeable future, as many stores are changing cleaning routines and opening early for people who are most at risk to shop during the first hour of the day.

Aldi, will open every Tuesday and Thursday at 8:30am for vulnerable shoppers to have the chance to shop during that first hour of opening, while Crest is offering early-hour shopping to the elderly and high-risk daily.

Costco announced Wednesday that they will have hours set aside for seniors from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Be aware

Jacob, 29, an Oklahoma City resident went grocery shopping earlier in the week and was concerned about how social distancing would work out while at the grocery store.

“The employees were doing a great job for the most part — they were wiping down each cart, had pre-bagged all the bulk food items, etc. Some of the shoppers had on gloves and masks. But I did feel like most were not cognizant of trying to maintain a 6-foot distance.” Jacob said.

It is important to be aware of your surroundings, remember you are not just protecting yourself but your neighbors as well.

Since Covid-19 can be passed even before creating noticeable symptoms, it is important to keep in mind that even if you don’t feel sick or are not at high risk for infection you can still spread it to others.

“You could wait until someone is done in the aisle you’re in, or pick out produce in an order that keeps you away from the other customers. While checking out, space yourselves out in line and wait for the person ahead of you to finish before pushing forward,” advises Jacob.

If we all work together to look out for our neighbors, stay home when we can, and keep a safe distance when we can’t we can change the trajectory of this crisis in our city, and save countless lives.

Last Updated April 17, 2020, 10:48 AM by Brett Dickerson – Editor