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Santa Maria Trader Joe’s sets shopper limit to 50 people for coronavirus concerns

Trader Joe's line
KEYT/Anikka Abbott
People wait to enter Trader Joe's after the store limits shopper capacity to 50 amid coronavirus outbreak.

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Trader Joe's in Santa Maria implemented new rules Monday in light of coronavirus concerns, limiting the store to only 50 shoppers at one time.

The new rule is in force to allow for social distancing.

A line formed outside the store at various points in the day, with an employee allowing people in as others exited.

The number of people allowed varies per store and is dependent upon how big each Trader Joe's store is.

A sign on the door read, "Currently at capacity. Thanks 4 UR patience."

They have also changed their hours to 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, shortening it an hour on each end.

As with most stores in the area, stock is getting low.

A store manager said the corporate office for Trader Joe's is handling the restocking of each store to try to make sure each store has what they need.

Shoppers, for the most part, said they are glad for the changes.

"I think it's wise," said Colleen Kuykendall, an Orcutt resident. "I think it's prudent based on what we're seeing. There's a pattern of things happening all around and I think we should follow suit with what we're doing just to be on the safe side."

Other shoppers said they were concerned with hoarding of items.

"Here they're saying two waters," said Ellen McCarroll of Santa Maria. "They're saying be kind, take two items only, not four. I really like that."

The store manager said that workers are consistently cleaning everything in the store, from registers to shelves. They are also allowed as many breaks as they want to wash their hands.

The new rules are in effect for the foreseeable future. Trader Joe's will announce any changes as the coronavirus situation changes.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

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Anikka Abbott

Anikka Abbott is a weather anchor and reporter for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Anikka, click here.


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