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Costco makes changes amid coronavirus pandemic: Here is what you need to know

Posted at 9:07 PM, Apr 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-04 18:08:05-04

PHOENIX — On Wednesday, April 1, Costco Wholesale announced/confirmed more than a handful of operational changes it is making at its U.S. Warehouses in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in order to protect its customers and employees.

Related:LIST: What grocery stores, restaurants, and businesses are open and not open around Phoenix?

Among them, slightly reduced hours, an entry limit of two people per membership, restrictions on returns, and specific shopping times for people aged 60 and up.

Here is what you need to know.

Reduced hours: Costco stores in the U.S. will close slightly earlier during the week. Stores will now close at 6:30 p.m., Monday - Friday. Saturday and Sunday hours remain the same. Costco gas stations will open at 7:30 a.m. every day and will close at 7 p.m. on weekdays and 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Two per membership: Beginning on Friday, April 3, no more than two people per membership will be allowed in at a time. "This temporary change is for your safety and the safety of our employees and other members, and to further assist with our social distancing efforts," Costco said on its website.

"Senior hour": On Tuesdays, Wednesday, and Thursdays, Costco members aged 60 and older will be able to shop from 8 a.m. - 9 a.m. (Most stores open to the general public at 9:30 a.m. or 10 a.m.).

Food Court: Good news, the food court is open, but is only open for takeout. All seating has been removed. The ketchup, mustard, onions, and relish have all been moved behind the service counter.

Product limits: Like other grocery stores have done, Costco is also setting buying limits on items that are in high-demand. Costco did not specify which items would be limited, but other grocery stores have placed limits on toilet paper, paper towel, bread, eggs, water, and medication.

Return restrictions: For the time being, shoppers will not be allowed to return toilet paper, bottled water, sanitizing wipes, paper towels, rice, or disinfecting spray.

Reduced service: Some Costco stores have either reduced or closed their hearing aid, optical, floral, and/or jewelry departments. On its website, Costco said these changes vary by store and were made to help promote social distancing.