Costco Just Announced It's Bringing Back This COVID Precaution

The warehouse wholesaler is backtracking after a national surge in COVID cases.

Even as COVID-19 changed the way we could stock up on groceries and home supplies, Costco remained an easy one-stop destination for shopping in bulk during the lockdown. The winding down of the pandemic has allowed the beloved warehouse retailer to bring back some of its most popular offerings while also dropping face mask and social distancing requirements for customers where permitted by local health regulations. But as numbers begin to swing in the wrong direction again, Costco has announced that it is bringing back one major COVID precaution to keep its customers safe. Read on to see which protective measure the wholesaler is already reviving.

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Costco is bringing back its recently canceled special senior shopping hours as COVID cases surge.

woman wearing face mask and gloves at costco grocery store
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In response to the rising national number of COVID cases, Costco has announced that it will keep offering special senior shopping hours for customers over the age of 60, anyone with disabilities, or anyone immunocompromised or vulnerable to the virus, USA Today first reported. The move comes just two weeks after the warehouse wholesaler announced that it would be ending the modified hours effective July 26. Now, Costco will instead drop the offerings from five days a week to two.

"Instead of discontinuing, we'll maintain hours for seniors Tuesdays and Thursdays until further notice," Richard Galanti, Costco's chief financial officer, told USA Today on July 19.

The modified senior hours for Costco will now go into effect on July 26.

Ft. Wayne - Circa August 2017: Costco Wholesale Location. Costco Wholesale is a Multi-Billion Dollar Global Retailer X
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Those looking to take advantage of the special hours will no longer have the option of shopping on all weekdays once the changes take effect on July 26. From then on, the new special operating hours will be offered from 9 to 10 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursday of each week at most warehouses in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, according to Costco's COVID-19 update webpage.

The drop to two days a week marks a return to the first iteration of the special shopping hours policy that the company rolled out in March 2020 as the pandemic began to take hold. It wasn't until May 2020, when most Costco locations resumed normal shopping hours overall, that the special hours were expanded to cover all five weekdays, USA Today reports.

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Certain Costco locations will have different special shopping hours for the time being.

Tigard, Oregon - Nov 8, 2019 : People with carts in Costco Wholesale. Costco is an American multinational corporation which operates a chain of membership only
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The company also points out on its COVID website that special senior shopping hours at certain locations will vary. The Iwilei, Hawaii location will still offer special hours on all weekdays from 8 to 9 a.m., while the Richmond, California location will also be open to seniors Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.

Other California locations have extra shopping days, too: the Culver City location is open for special operating hours 8 to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday, and Los Angeles locations—such as Los Feliz, Northridge, Pacoima, Van Nuys, and Woodland Hills—will hold their special hours from 9 to 10 a.m. Sunday through Friday and 8:30 on Saturdays.

Costco has recently made other operational changes related to COVID.

Tigard, Oregon - Oct 25, 2019 : Costco wholesale warehouse shopping aisle with food testing
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The move to backpedal on its decision and keep special shopping hours comes after a series of changes that brought the warehouse retailer back towards normal operations. Nearly 170 U.S. Costco locations brought back food samples during the first week of June, and most of the remaining stores were expected to bring them back toward the end of the month, Costco CFO Richard Galanti told CNN in May.

Food courts at most warehouses have also reopened after being shuttered for more than a year. But according to Costco's update, "selection varies by location," and seating may also be limited in some stores.

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Zachary Mack
Zachary covers beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He's the owner of Alphabet City Beer Co. in New York City and is a Certified Cicerone. Read more
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