In light of the ever-changing news and information surrounding the impact to our community from COVID-19, we wanted to let you know how Viroqua Food Co+op is responding to protect the health of our staff and shoppers.
VFC is committed to keeping our doors open and our shelves stocked so you can continue to pick up any of the resources you need. The safety of our staff is our first priority, followed very closely by our shoppers. We need a healthy staff in order to keep the store running and be able to serve you.
At this time, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Vernon County, but as this situation continues to develop, we want you to know that VFC is proactively preparing for a possible outbreak or service interruption.
What We’re Doing Now
- We are following all local, state, and federal recommendations during this outbreak. We also have an emergency preparedness plan that our managers are already referencing.
- We are using cleaning supplies that are recommended by the CDC.
- We have implemented an even more thorough cleaning schedule of common surfaces such as light switches, door and cart handles, and other more public surfaces multiple times each day. Look for our five hand washing stations (seating area, bulk, and our three bathrooms) and sanitizing wipes throughout the store.
- We have suspended active and passive sampling in the store as well as the co+op explorers program for kids. “Cheese Madness” is also postponed.
- We are suspending all classes/events/meetings in the Co-op Community Room beginning Saturday March 14th.
- While we always expect our staff to wash their hands, we are reminding and encouraging more frequent washing of hands and we ask any employee with cold/flu symptoms to stay home.
- We are focused on maintaining a good supply of our usual merchandise, as well as additional emergency preparedness items that you might need. Let us know how we may be able to help in this regard.
- For our employees, we have addressed our leave-time policies and they will not be a barrier to their safety and well-being during this time. Already in place are PTO and short-term disability benefits for all staff, to protect them from longer-term illnesses and injuries.
How We’ve Been Affected So Far
Supply on some shelf-stable items has tightened, and this has led to a few out-of-stocks. Our manufacturers are trying to replenish inventories as quickly as possible, and we are doing our best to keep items in stock by increasing order quantities or finding alternate sources when available. If you are in search of a particular product that may be out of stock at our store, feel free to give us a call, and we’ll be happy to check our inventory for you.
What You Can Do
- Pay with a debit/credit card.
- Allow 6 feet between yourself and others where possible
- If you know you have had contact with someone that is a presumptive positive case of coronavirus, please stay home. Please do not send your family members, or anyone else with whom you have had contact, to the store.
- Rather than clearing out our shelves to stock up on staple items (bathroom tissue, sanitizers, etc.), please place special orders for cases. (All VFC owners receive 10% off of case orders.) If the products are available from our suppliers, they will arrive at our store within a few days for you to pick up.
What We’ll Do if More Cases Are Confirmed in our Area
- We may temporarily suspend the use of reusable plates and bowls or containers brought from home.
- We may close all food bars and self-serve options of unpackaged foods, changing to packaged options or wrapping up otherwise ready-to-serve options.
- We may close the public seating areas.
For the latest, accurate information regarding this outbreak, we recommend the following resources:
Most importantly, we want you to know that we are here to serve you, and we will be transparent about our plans to prevent the further spread of this illness should an outbreak occur in our community. We only have your best interest in mind, and we will continue doing everything we can to ensure that our co-op is a safe place and that you feel comfortable shopping here.
Further updates will be made to this post as this situation develops. If you have any questions at all, please contact us at (608) 637-7511 or firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, our staff is happy to help in whatever way we can!