Costco Just Extended This Pandemic Rule Indefinitely

As we round the corner into the holidays and have to start planning our festivities, COVID continues to ramp up across the country. According to NPR, the U.S. currently faces its largest spike of cases seen so far in the pandemic, with a total case count reaching roughly 15 million. Businesses and local governments have taken note, with Costco leading the way by stepping up their security measures. According to Fox Business, Costco has extended its senior shopping hours until further notice to help protect shoppers. The senior shopping hours apply to anyone age 60 or over or who has a disability or compromised immune system. The period extends from 9 to 10 AM  in most locations every day until further notice. In select areas, shoppers may only have from 8 to 9 AM or 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM to visit Costco.

Anyone looking to help seniors shop needs to hold their horses — guests can't join in during the prescribed hours, so make sure to leave the extra family at home for this trip. The only exception to this rule applies if you qualify as a healthcare worker or a first responder, such as an EMT or firefighter. Unless you live in Massachusetts, anyone who can properly identify themself as a first responder or healthcare worker gets priority access while shopping and can cut to the head of the line.

Even more precautions taken

Even if you don't qualify for the senior shopping hours, don't expect to get away without facing some increased safety precautions. According to Yahoo, Costco now mandates that all customers must wear some form of face covering in order to shop at the chain, including anyone claiming they can't wear masks — these customers must still wear face shields or an equal covering in order to enter the store. To help curb supply shortages that happened at the beginning of the pandemic, Costco has also begun to enforce limited purchases of "high-demand" items and "everyday favorites," so don't expect to panic-buy a palette's load of toilet paper this time around.

These precautions have been felt at other big box stores. According to NJ, Costco follows Walmart, which recently announced that it would not allow in-store customer capacity to exceed 20 percent in order to help flatten the curb. While many hope these new efforts can help lower new coronavirus cases, only time will tell if the new regulations lower the transmission rates of the disease. With the holidays looming, no one wants to get sick right before the festivities begin, and Costco helps make sure we can have a fun and safe time this holiday season thanks to these new safety rollouts.