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Bethel Grocers Set Aside Special Hours For Elders And Other Vulnerable Populations To Shop

Swanson's employees stock shelves in Bethel on March 23, 2020.
Katie Basile

Grocery stores in Bethel are setting aside designated shopping hours meant to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus to those populations most likely to become severly ill with COVID-19.

The steps are similar to those being taken in Anchorage.

Swanson’s grocery store in Bethel has set aside hours on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays for Elders and customers with compromised immune systems. Those hours are in the morning from 10 to 11 a.m., and in the evening from 9 to 10 p.m. Swanson’s is also waiving the delivery fee for Elders who order groceries totaling $50 or more.

AC’s main store is offering special hours for Elders from 7 to 9 a.m. AC Quick Stop has special hours for Elders from 10 a.m. until noon. Elders will have a special checkout line to reduce contact with others. Elders can also call AC’s main store to order their groceries, and the store will deliver for free if possible. Elders can also stop by and pick up their goods. The number for AC orders is 907-543-2661. Elders can also make their order electronically by emailing: store1135@northwest-dot-ca. 

AC General Manager Walt Pickett says that the company has made a commitment to not raise prices on products in any of its Alaskan stores for a month, with the exception of eggs, meat, and vegetables. Demand, he says, is so high on those goods that prices are outside of the company’s control.

To try to keep contagion from spreading, AC has an employee cleaning “high use” areas throughout the Bethel store continuously during operations.

At Corina’s Case Lot Groceries in Bethel, Christy Inman, the owner, was working to restock the shelves on March 23 to keep the tiny store open to customers. She said that she does not foresee making any changes in the operations there.