Starting Tuesday, Costco Wholesale is opening their doors early twice a week for members ages 60 and up as the nation faces an outbreak that has appeared to disproportionally affect people who are elderly and have underlying health conditions.
The early operating hour from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays includes the pharmacy but not the food court, which will open according to normal schedule. Costco Business Centers are excluded. (Click here to find a Costco location.)
While the retail giant's announcement of the special hour did not mention other vulnerable groups such as pregnant women and younger people with health issues, other grocery stores and chains such as Target and Northgate Market have.
Click here for a list of businesses across Southern California that are opening early for vulnerable community members.
Costco Wholesale and other retailers for several weeks have attracted crowds as fear over the COVID-19 outbreak spreads. Officials and experts have recommended people stay at least 6 feet away from others who are not members of their household to prevent further cases of the coronavirus.
Early Tuesday, Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies in Santa Clarita Valley responded to reports of fights at the local Costco but found none. However, they noted the large number of people at the store.
"Deputies on scene & no fights but there is a LOT of people," said a message on the station's Twitter account. "All is fine. Lots of other stores out there. If you are not elderly don’t show up trying to blend in during special hours."