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Cornelius News

Mandatory grocery crowd limits begin at 5 pm


April 13. By Dave Yochum. With people shopping more and more frequently, it’s looking like local grocery stores are not reaching capacity very often.

Starting Monday at 5 p.m., grocery stores and other retailers can only have five people for every 1,000 square feet in the store at a time, according to Cooper’s order. Additionally, retailers need to offer shopping times for seniors and make hand sanitizer accessible, among other things.


Fresh Market will require shoppers to wear masks starting tomorrow.

Depending on where you shop, you’ll find different conditions as grocers respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. At Food Lion, Fresh Market, Harris Teeter and Publix, less than half the shoppers in the three stores were wearing some form of masks and over 90% had on gloves.

At all four stores, associates are wiping down shopping carts individually as customers enter. As of this morning:

Food Lion: No alternate aisles, plenty of meat, no bath tissue. They do have Fresca, that rare beverage from The Coca-Cola Co. that was a favorite of Robert Woodruff

Fresh Market: There are carefully delineated aisles, so you shop in one direction or the other, and won’t come face to face with another shopper. Meat supplies looked adequate this morning, but bath tissue was out.

Harris Teeter: There was what appeared to be a limited supply of bath tissue at about 8 am. No alternate aisles, while meat and vegetable stocks appeared to be more than adequate.


Publix: Besides plenty of Krispy Kreme and bacon, supplies of meat appeared adequate although there was no toilet paper Monday morning. A Publix associate, however, said comes in on a regular basis. One-way/alternate aisles were in effect.

Meanwhile, gates to public parks remain closed to vehicular traffic as a way to further discourage gatherings. Parks are walk-in only, and boat ramps are closed.

Thoughts of reopening businesses are on everyone’s mind, one way or another.

NC Sen. Jeff Jackson said to fully reopen, we need to know four things: Who’s sick, who’s not, who’s been sick and who hasn’t.


That means more testing which provides information for health care officials and political leaders to make informed decisions.

“South Korea was able to demolish the infection curve and reopen society much faster than any other country. And the way they got there was early, widespread testing – followed by aggressive contact tracing and isolation,” Jackson said.

Testing needs to be widespread and rapid.

Jackson said there is an advantage to not being the first state to have a major outbreak. States like New York, California, and Washington will be the first to experiment with how to reopen.


They’re going to be the first to decide how many tests, what kinds of tests, how to stagger the return to work, how to conduct effective monitoring and when to reopen schools.

“That means we’ll have the opportunity to observe and learn some best practices before we’re in the same position. That’s a big advantage for us – it’s also a reason why you’re not going to see a fully formed Grand Plan for reopening yet. We’re not done learning from the experience of other states,” Jackson said.