PROSPECT, CT (WFSB) -- Grocery store employees are working around the clock as many people hunker in.
Now, there’s a movement to protect them, along with customers across the state.
Gov. Ned Lamont announced on Thursday that there can be no more than 50 people at one time in a supermarket, along with other measures.
At Oliver’s Supermarket in Prospect, only 35 customers are allowed inside at a time, and the safeguards don’t end there.
“Our associates, they’re on the front lines. We’re not wearing hospital gowns. So, if you are sick, please stay home,” said Robert LaBonne Jr., of LaBonne’s Markets.
Inside the store shoppers will find plexiglass at the registers, and “x’s” on the floor spread 6 feet apart to help with social distancing.
“A lot of the cashiers are wiping down registers in between transactions. They’re wearing gloves or using sanitizer in between transactions,” LaBonne Jr. said.
The protections in place for employees also eases nerves for customers.
“It’s a little unnerving at times. You’re looking around. You’re thinking, ‘does the person next to me have it? Does this person have it?’,” said Linda Dwy, of Prospect.
The store’s defense against an invisible enemy brings a measure of needed calm.
“This is the first time I’ve been out in over two weeks, so this is like fantastic,” said Claudette Carson, of Prospect.
Sixth generation owner Robert LaBonne Jr. said self-service is gone.
Meanwhile, curbside pickup and online delivery increased by five times.
His formula in keeping people safe inside is easy: “Number one: take care of my people and their families. Number two: take care of my customers. And three: sales and profits are last.”
The family-owned business is also looking ahead.
Right now, it’s building a roundup program where customers can donate their change to local food banks, believing more people will rely on them in the coming weeks.
Lamont also suspended the state's 10 cent plastic bag tax at grocery stores over concerns that reusable ones might spread COVID-19.