Navigate Errands And Feed Your Family During The Pandemic

Mar 19, 2020

A woman picks up food at Shorty's Famous Hot Dogs in downtown Wake Forest, N.C., Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order earlier in the day instructing all restaurants in the state to close their dining rooms as of 5 p.m. to help halt the spread of the coronavirus.
Credit Allen G. Breed / AP Photo

It's a confusing time for getting even the smallest tasks done. Grocery stores continue to be open in the Triangle. So, too, are pharmacies and many big box stores. But how do you navigate a trip through the aisles while observing social distancing and avoiding the spread of the coronavirus?

 

Here is a roundup of the many businesses that continue to serve Triangle residents and tips from officials about how to do your shopping and dining responsibly.

 

 

 

Grocery Stores

On Wednesday, North Carolina Emergency Manager Mike Sprayberry said in a public briefing that the state has "no plans to direct grocery stores to close" and that the supply chain to grocery stores remains strong. With that in mind, he called for North Carolinians to resist the urge to stockpile food. 

On March 12, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen said "walking through the aisles of a grocery store" is considered low risk, per guidance the department received from the CDC. Cohen also reminded North Carolinians that "social distancing means staying approximately six feet away" from others when possible.

Food Lion, Harris Teeter, Publix, Target and Walmart have all implemented two-package limits on high-demand items like liquid soap and hand sanitizer and toilet paper, according to reporting from the Charlotte Observer

Harris Teeter is moving store hours to between 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The move is aimed at giving staff a chance to restock and clean the store.

 

Whole Foods Market announced Wednesday that shoppers aged 60 and older are invited to shop one hour before stores officially open (under new adjusted hours).

Big Box Stores

Target stores are closing at 9 p.m. daily to squeeze in more room for sanitizing and restocking. Every Wednesday, the stores are reserving their first open hour for elderly and vulnerable shoppers.

As of Thursday, Walmart will operate stores between 7 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. Starting march 24, the first opening hour every Tuesday will be reserved for senior shoppers.

Pharmacies

Most Walgreens locations will now be open 12 hours a day between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. The store will keep operating its 24-hour drive-thru pharmacies.

CVS pharmacies are offering free one to two-day delivery of prescriptions until May 1, 2020.

Restaurants

Following an executive order from Gov. Roy Cooper delivered Tuesday, North Carolina restaurants have closed dine-in operations, but many continue to serve clients through pick-up and delivery options. 

At this time, the FDA says there is no evidence of "food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19."

Raleigh has designated approximately 100 pick-up zones where customers can park temporarily to collect take-out food orders and other goods from local businesses without paying for parking. The zones are an effort to support local businesses that are still operating during the pandemic. 

Durham has followed suit and is blocking off zones where customers are encouraged to park for curbside pick-up. Scores of Durham restaurants are offering pick-up and delivery options.

Chapel Hill will not be enforcing parking meters along Franklin Street and Rosemary to encourage pick-up orders for restaurants and other businesses. Here is a roundup of downtown businesses that are still serving customers.

Many fast food restaurants in the Triangle continue to operate without dine-in seating. 

McDonald’s has shut down all dine-in seating across the country. The restaurants continue to serve guests through drive-thru, take-out, and delivery, where available.

Waffle House is encouraging customers to call ahead for to-go orders. The restaurant, known for being open 24/7/365, continues to run on its standard schedule for pick-up orders.

Chipotle is offering free delivery through March 31 for orders over $10. The company is also distributing orders in what it calls a “new, tamper evident packaging seal” to make it clear food wasn’t touched on the way to customers.

Bojangles continues to operate drive-thru and pick-up food services in the Triangle area. 

Are we missing important tips? Please email lpellicer@wunc.org and we will be happy to review your submission and update this list.