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With fear of the continuing spread of COVID-19, officials in the U.S. are expressing concern for seniors, who appear to be especially vulnerable to the coronavirus. Now grocery stores are trying to do what they can to help support older shoppers.

A number of businesses in Southern California are opening early for elderly people, as well as other vulnerable members of the community, so they can avoid the crowds that have recently inundated major retailers and local chains.

In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom has called for those 65 or older to isolate themselves at home. Ventura County authorities went a step further by ordering local residents over 75 to shelter in place. 

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health commended the retailers’ decision to help out. But the agency underscored that the best way for seniors to remain healthy during the outbreak is to have medications, food and other supplies taken to their residence either by delivery services or family members.

Seniors who still need to leave their home for groceries and other items can take advantage of the special hours offered by the following stores:

Albertsons, Vons, Safeway and Pavilions: Every Tuesday and Thursday, grocery stores operated by Albertsons Companies will only serve vulnerable community members from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Click the following links for further information on each store: Albertsons, Pavilions, Safeway and Vons.

Baldwin Park stores: The Baldwin Park Police Department on March 16 announced that El Super, Grocery Outlet, Smart & Final and Superior Grocers will let seniors shop early on Wednesdays and Thursdays between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. Click the link to each store’s website to confirm the special hours.

Target said it participated in the city’s initiative the week of March 16 but has since began its own special hours for vulnerable communities at all its locations. See the Target section of this list below for more information.

Clark’s Nutrition: The local chain, which has locations in Chino, Loma Linda, Rancho Mirage and Riverside, will open 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. exclusively for seniors and other people who have a disability through March 19. The rest of the public can shop at the stores after 9 a.m. 

Costco Wholesale: Starting March 24, Costco will open its doors for members 60 years and older every Tuesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. While the food court will keep its regular schedule, the pharmacy will be open during the special hour.

Dollar General: The discount retailer will exclusively serve senior shoppers during the first hour of stores’ operating hours. Click here for locations and hours.

Erewhon: The organic grocery chain, which has locations in Fairfax, Calabasas, Santa Monica, Venice and Pacific Palisades, opens to seniors and others with compromised immunity from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. starting March 18.

Gelson’s Markets: Starting March 18, people 65 and over can shop from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. The rest of the public can start shopping at 8 a.m.

Grocery Outlet in Altadena: The discount store on 2270 Lake Ave. opens to shoppers 60 and over from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. starting March 19.

Northgate Market: All locations open 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. for people who are 65 and over, pregnant women and people with disabilities. Click here for locations.

Stater Bros.: Locations began opening at 7:45 a.m. for shoppers 65 and older on March 18.

Later, the company announced that starting March 26, all stores will open their doors to seniors from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. Temporary operating hours to the public are between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Super A Foods: The Southern California chain opens for seniors 65 years and older at 7 a.m. before the general public hours from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. The company has locations in Bell Gardens, Fillmore, Highland Park, Glassell Park, Montebello, South Gate and Temple City. 

Target: The retail giant announced that beginning March 18, locations will reserve the first hour of shopping every Wednesday for “vulnerable shoppers,” including the elderly and other people with underlying health conditions. The stores open to the general public at their normal times but close early daily at 9 p.m. 

Temecula stores: Organic Roots at 40458 Winchester Road opens early to seniors from 7:45 a.m. to 8 a.m, while Tom’s Farms at 3900 Temescal Canyon Road opens to anybody 55 and older from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., Temecula officials said. The CVS located at 31771 Rancho California Road is offering free delivery. The city’s senior center can be reached at 951-694-6464 for further information.

Vallarta Supermarkets: Effective March 18, the chain’s dozens of locations across the state open between 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. for seniors 65 years old and over, pregnant women and people who have a disability. Click here for a list of locations.

Whole Foods: Starting March 18, U.S. locations will serve customers 60 or older an hour before opening to the public. Click here for locations and store hours. 

WinCo Foods: Effective the week of March 21, the retail chain will temporarily reserve 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursdays for shoppers who are 60 years old and older, other vulnerable populations and WinCo employees. “In areas with local guidelines for senior access, local mandates override listed hours,” the company said. “Employee access is intended to help our local Employee Owners that are working long hours to keep the doors to your store open.”