Long lines a new norm at stores amidst pandemic
BARRIE -- Days after the Ford Government announced the closure of all non-essential businesses, long line ups outside essential services like grocery stores are becoming a new normal.
"It was a little busy," says Diane Bouchard, who was shopping at FreshCo., "people are staying their distance away."
All over the city, lines can be seen outside stores including Walmart and FreshCo. who are taking precautions surrounding COVID-19; some increasing sanitation measures, such as providing hand sanitizer and wiping down carts.
Meanwhile, stores like One Plant - who see an average upwards of a hundred customers weekly - have taken high measures to ensure safety.
"We've got hand sanitizer on the entrance and exit, safe social distancing squares that indicate at least a six-foot distance for anyone everyone lining up, designated waiting zones and a maximum of eight people in the store at a time," said store manager of One Plant, Ryan Grenville.
Grenville adds the store also shuts down once an hour, taking time to clean the cash tills thoroughly.
But it isn't just retail stores doing their part in minimizing the spread.
On Monday, the City of Barrie closed all municipal playgrounds and waterfront fitness equipment.
According to Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman, the city has been taking severe measures to ensure everyone is maintaining social distancing as per provincial and federal guidelines.
"We started last week with recreation centres, libraries community centres," says Lehman, "and we expanded that this week to playgrounds and other amenities and parks."
In terms of city services, Mayor Lehman says there isn't much more they can close to discourage social gatherings. However, he is continuing to urge everyone to do their part in flattening the curve, staying home, and minimizing the spread of the virus.