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Health News

Strict New Rules for Groceries And Pharmacies in Unincorporated Greenburgh to Combat COVID-19

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April 11, 2020

By Robert Kimmel

Grocery stores and pharmacies within the unincorporated areas of the Town of Greenburgh will soon be operating under tough new rules imposed by Town Supervisor Paul Feiner.  Citing the COVID-19 pandemic and its  possible effect on the health and safety of shoppers and employees, the orders go into effect Friday, April 10.

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While the Villages, including Tarrytown, Irvington and Dobbs Ferry are not in the unincorporated part of the Town, shoppers arriving from any location to those stores will have to have their temperatures taken before they are allowed into the groceries or pharmacies which occupy more than 1,000 square feet of space.

Those merchant locations are being designated as “Critical Public Health Protective Zones,” in which “food for human consumption is sold to the general public.”  Restaurants, offering take-out food, are exempted from the rule.

Among the other rules imposed by the emergency order is a requirement that the groceries and pharmacies have to “establish at least one hour a day during which the store is open only to customers over 60 years of age who do not exhibit COVID-19 health conditions.”

The order also limits the number of customers “allowed in the store at any one time to a reasonable number, given the size of the store, to accommodate the CDC-recommended 6-foot physical distancing.” The stores must also mark off “six-foot distancing lines” at the entrance to the store and also at check-out counters along with signage referring to the distancing. Store employees must also “remind customers to observe such markings.”

Each employee must have hand sanitizers available for use as well, “or fresh, unused gloves, and if available, face masks,“ each day while at work, and COVID-19 health safety guidelines must be posted.

Gloves, “fresh and unused, or sanitizing wipes must be provided to customers prior to entering the store, according to Feiner’s orders. Cart handles, if carts are used, must be wiped between different customers using them.  At store exits, a receptacle will have to be placed for the disposal of the used gloves and masks and so labeled.  If it is possible, stores are also asked “to establish one-way aisles inside the store and separate entrances/exits for customers.”

The rules, “Emergency Order 1.1,” will be enforced by the Town’s Police Department and Building Department.  A Notice of Violation will be issued for the first violation. Subsequent  violations call for a summons, “alleging a Class B misdemeanor.” In those cases, the business name will be posted on the Town website, until the authorities “determine that the violation has been rectified.”

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