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Costco Giving Priority to Healthcare Workers and First Responders

National retail giant pledges to take care of those on the front lines by moving them to the front of the line.

Costco announced plans to reward those working on the front lines of this global battle against the coronavirus outbreak by giving priority to healthcare workers and first responders in entering their stores.

The global pandemic has disrupted everyday life for nearly everyone, and grocery shopping has never been a more essential part of one's regular routine. Videos of absurdly long lines at Costco have gone viral, and lines of grocery shoppers have only gotten longer now that social distancing has become more widely adopted across the country.

But Costco is looking after the EMTs, firefighters, nurses, doctors, and healthcare workers who may not have the spare time to wait in line for hours on end. Late last week, the bulk-shopping company announced their new policy on a webpage dedicated to COVID-19 updates:

Costco is temporarily allowing priority access to our warehouses during all open hours for Costco members who are healthcare workers and first responders such as police officers, EMTs and firefighters. Healthcare workers and first responders who present a Costco membership card and official identification of their role, will be allowed to move to the front of any line to enter the warehouse.

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The outbreak of the deadly COVID-19 contagion has led to over 20,000 deaths of American citizens, and while recent reports suggest that we are very near the flattening of the curve in various hotspots, social distancing and lockdown guidelines show no signs of easing up soon.

Amid these stressful times, there have been a number of positive silver linings—especially a renewed appreciation for healthcare workers and first responders who do not have the luxury of working from (or staying at) home. The very frontline workers whose literal job it is to put themselves at risk by dealing with those who have COVID-19 need food and resources just as much—if not moreso—than others right now.

Costco isn't the only one to be looking out for those who need the most help right now. Walmart, Target and Trader Joe's have all instituted a number of new policies to help protect both shoppers and staff amid the coronavirus.

READ MORE: 17 Foods You Should Buy at Costco During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.
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