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Whole Foods, Safeway, Oliver's among grocery stores offering seniors-only hours during coronavirus pandemic

How To Reduce Your Risk

Local health officials urge practicing good hygiene to reduce the risk of becoming infected with a respiratory virus, such as the flu or coronavirus. This includes:

• Washing hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds

• Avoid touching your eyes and face

• Cough or sneeze into your sleeved elbow

• Stay home when ill

• Get a flu shot, and it's not too late this season

Source: Sonoma County Department of Health Services

For more information, go to sonomacounty.ca.gov/Health/Information-About-Coronavirus.

Questions or concerns can be directed to the county's 24-hour information hotline at 211 or 800-325-9604. You can also text "COVID19" to 211211 for coronavirus information.

For more stories about the coronavirus, go here.

Safeway, Whole Foods Market and other local grocery stores have set up hours for seniors and people with underlying medical conditions to shop away from crowds during the coronavirus pandemic.

Safeway has announced that it is reserving its stores from 6-9 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays for customers who need to shop away from crowds.

"During those times, we ask that you avoid shopping so that the stores can be available for senior citizens, and other at-risk members of our community such as pregnant women or those with compromised immune systems," Safeway said in a statement on its Facebook Page.

Whole Foods Market throughout Sonoma County are opening their doors from 8-9 a.m. every day for customers who are 60 years and older, according to a news release. Stores also will close up to two hours early to give employees time to sanitize and restock shelves. Click here for more information, and click here for a list of store locations and hours.

Target is reserving its first hour every Wednesday for seniors and people with underlying medical conditions, according to its website. In Santa Rosa and Petaluma, the stores will open to these shoppers from 8-9 a.m.

Oliver's Market is opening its doors to seniors from 6-7 a.m. every day. It also is offering seniors a 10% discount, according its website.

Nugget Market (500 W. Napa St., Sonoma) will offer senior hours from 6-8 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning March 24. During that time, anyone who is at least 65 years old or has a medical condition can shop. Click here for more information.

Petaluma Market is opening its doors at 6 a.m. for seniors and people who are immunocompromised to shop, according to its website.

Raley's is not offering special hours but is assembling bags of groceries for seniors available for store pickup beginning on Saturday, March 21. Seniors have two options: a $20-bag of groceries that includes produce and pantry items or a $35-bag that includes ready-to-eat meals. The groceries will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, and people will be limited to one bag per family per day. Get more information here.

Trader Joe's and Lucky are not offering special hours for seniors.

Although these hours are intended to keep people at higher risk of coronavirus away from crowds, some experts also have expressed concern that the stores could be overcrowded at these hours as well.

If you're worried, it's best to have a family member or friend shop for you, Dr. Alysa Krain, who specializes in geriatric medicine at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine, told The Washington Post.

"It was a good idea in general, but it's a little bit dangerous if it's not controlled," Krain told the publication.

The Press Democrat wants to know what stories you see emerging and what you're experiencing locally during the shelter-in-place order. Reach out to us at coronavirus@pressdemocrat.com.

How To Reduce Your Risk

Local health officials urge practicing good hygiene to reduce the risk of becoming infected with a respiratory virus, such as the flu or coronavirus. This includes:

• Washing hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds

• Avoid touching your eyes and face

• Cough or sneeze into your sleeved elbow

• Stay home when ill

• Get a flu shot, and it's not too late this season

Source: Sonoma County Department of Health Services

For more information, go to sonomacounty.ca.gov/Health/Information-About-Coronavirus.

Questions or concerns can be directed to the county's 24-hour information hotline at 211 or 800-325-9604. You can also text "COVID19" to 211211 for coronavirus information.

For more stories about the coronavirus, go here.

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