San Juan County grocers navigate the minefield of COVID-19
“Make it stop!” That’s Craig Stanley’s response to the COVID-19 coronavirus craziness, and you can hear virtually every voice in San Juan County echoing the sentiment.
Stanley, manager of Clark’s Market in Blanding, says his team is working hard and is tired, but they are doing everything they can to keep up with customer demand in these trying times.
Twenty-two miles north at Blue Mountain Foods in Monticello, the situation is the same. Following a panic-buy frenzy in response to the worldwide pandemic, store co-owner Stacy Young says some items are returning to shelves and some buying restrictions are being eased.
Other items such as sugar, flour, toilet paper, paper towels, and tissues are still harder to come by.
Both Stanley and Young report that business is booming.
Stanley chalks it up to the fact that more people are in town due to travel restrictions and school closures imposed by the state. Young says she’s concerned about what might happen when the urgent shopping dies down.
Grocers are now responsible to adhere to stricter cleaning regimens in response to the outbreak. Checkout counters and registers are cleaned constantly. Young said, “We take every guideline from the state seriously.”
Blue Mountain Foods employees are all wearing masks now, specifically in the service areas.
And if COVID-19 issues weren’t enough, the automatic door leading into the store failed and the company that will replace it is not an essential business, so the repair process is on hold.
“Everything is changing daily,” stated Young as she expressed thanks to the community for being patient with store owners.
Both Clark’s Market and Blue Mountain Foods are offering special services to their customers. Blue Mountain Foods gives seniors a chance to shop by themselves from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. daily.
Both stores offer online shopping at ClarksMarket.com/Blanding and BlueMtnFoods.com, respectively. Blue Mountain Foods will deliver if a customer is truly in need.
In Blanding, Precision Rehabilitation is delivering grocery orders to Clark’s Market customers who are considered high risk.
Visit PrecisionRehabUtah.com or call 435-678-3869 for more information.