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Grocery Stores Are Bringing Back This COVID-19 Shopping Rule

Be prepared to work around this rule during your next grocery run.

When the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hit back in March, a wait to get into your neighborhood grocery store and price changes or product shortages once you finally got inside quickly became the new normal. Though some of those inconveniences appeared to slowly be relaxing starting during the summer months, there are now empty shelves and lines at retailers once again.

California recently updated capacity limits for grocery stores in a new wave of coronavirus restrictions. Grocery stores had been restricted to operating at only 20% capacity, but that limit was increased up to 35%, according to the Los Angeles Times. (What items is your neighborhood store likely out of? Here are 8 Grocery Items That May Soon Be in Short Supply.)

But the Golden State is far the only state t0 restrict grocery store capacity in an effort to mitigate the spread of the new coronavirus. In Oregon, supermarkets can only operate at 75% capacity. In Illinois, grocers can operate at 50% capacity, but "big box" stores that sell groceries are restricted to 25% capacity. A 25% cap was also instituted in Washington state and parts of Maryland. New Mexico's governor went so far as to require grocery stores with "four or more rapid responses of COVID-19 cases reported within in a 14-day period to close for two weeks," according to The Center Square.

Some national retailers are tracking the number of customers inside their doors again, too. Walmart resumed counting customers as they entered stores back in November. There is currently only one entrance and exit per location, so employees can better manage the flow of people.

Want to stay extra safe at the grocery store next time? Here is The One Vitamin Doctors Are Urging Everyone to Take Right Now.

Amanda McDonald
Amanda has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree in digital journalism from Loyola University Chicago. Read more about Amanda