COVID-19 UPDATE — Customer Quota Now in Place


UPDATED: March 20, 2020

UPDATE: Customer Quota Now in Place

Effective Saturday, March 21, the Kootenay Co-op will limit the number of customers allowed in the store to 30 people at a time.

This is a proactive, preventative measure to help slow the spread of COVID-19 by allowing for more space between people while in the store. We are deeply grateful to all our members and customers for working with us to keep our community as healthy as possible. Thank you for your thoughtful cooperation!

How It Will Work
A staff person will greet you at the entrance to make sure you have the information you need regarding our safety precautions prior to shopping. Our greeters will also monitor the number of people in the store. Once the store reaches capacity (30 customers), we will ask customers to form an orderly line under our covered area. As shoppers exit the store, we will allow the same number of people in line to then enter the store.

We encourage everyone to shop as efficiently as possible:

  • Shop less frequently and purchase more items at one time
  • Pre-plan your grocery shop by making a shopping list before coming to the store
  • Send one person from your household to shop instead of multiple people, and leave children at home whenever possible
  • Shop intentionally to get what you need and reduce browsing
  • Please assist with bagging and boxing your own groceries to keep line-ups moving

These steps will reduce the number of times people need to visit the store every day and in turn will reduce wait times. These measures will also reduce the impact on our wonderful staff who are working tirelessly on the front lines to keep our community well-fed and nourished.

Caring for Each Other by Self-Screening Before Entering the Store
To help slow the spread of COVID and to keep our staff and customers as safe as possible, we ask you to consider if any of the following applies to you, if so please do not enter our store, and ask about our home delivery and curbside pickup options.

  • Fever, cough, sore throat or difficulty breathing
  • Sick or feeling unwell
  • Returned from abroad in the last 14-days
  • Been asked to quarantine or self-isolate
  • Knowingly interacted with someone who has COVID-19 or is awaiting test results

Safety Precautions

  • Please sanitize your hands upon entering the store and avoid touching your face while shopping
  • Please try to maintain a distance of 2m from other shoppers and staff when possible
  • No personal shopping bags or containers permitted in the store, we will provide free paper bags

Store Hours
We are open to everyone from 10am to 7pm, 7-days a week. In addition, we are open from 9am to 10am, 7-days a week, exclusively for seniors and the immune-compromised.

Product & Service Changes
Due to people stocking up over the past week, some items are out of stock. We are working with our suppliers every day to keep our shelves full. Please work with us by not over-buying or hoarding items. In addition, our café, drink bar, hot bar, salad bar and café seating area are temporarily closed. We have also temporarily suspended all self-service bulk items and are providing staff to gather bulk items for you.

Prepared Foods
Our kitchen team has expanded our grab+go, packaged meal offerings to provide you with healthy pre-made meals and snacks. We will continue to come up with new creative options in the coming weeks.

All Sales are Final
Until further notice, we can not accept returns and all sales are final.

Bottle Return
Currently, we can only accept bottle returns for Kootenay Meadows milk. Please proceed directly to our customer service desk to make these returns.

Cash and Cash Back
Credit and debit cards are preferred. Please only use cash if absolutely necessary. Our cashback service is suspended until further notice.

All March and April events have been cancelled, including our spring Case Lot Sale and cooking classes.

Zero-Violence Policy
Mostly everyone has been kind and thoughtful throughout this situation. Others feel the weight more heavily and have acted out. Reminder that we have a zero-violence policy at the Co-op. This includes verbal aggression of any kind. You will be asked to leave or be banned from the store if you show aggression or violence towards our staff or fellow shoppers.

Our Co-op’s Response to COVID-19

As a community gathering place, we have a responsibility to our members, customers, and staff to reduce the spread of COVID-19 (“coronavirus”). We are proactively taking sensible precautions and invite you to work with us to address this situation as effectively as possible.


Other Steps We Are Taking

  • Installing plexiglass barriers at our tills
  • Requiring any staff showing symptoms of any illness to stay home.
  • Increasing communication and reminders to our members and employees focused on important health and safety measures
  • Installed hand sanitizer dispensers in 5 locations in the store and will be providing hand sanitizer at the tills and gloves for cashiers, based on availability. We will post signage throughout the store encouraging the use of hand sanitizer and overall responsible hygiene.
  • Introducing enhanced cleaning protocols throughout the store with particular focus on high traffic and high contact areas (carts, baskets, washroom doors and interiors, freezer and refrigerator handles, PIN pads, office phones and keyboards, staff room, etc.)
  • Communicating proactively with our suppliers to address potential product shortages.
  • Closely monitoring the situation and following public health and governmental recommendations regarding travel restrictions, self-quarantining, testing, and overall preventative measures.
  • Working with staff on a case-by-case basis to address the financial impact of potential time off.
  • Communicating with local organizations and businesses to respond in a coordinated manner.


Here’s How You Can Help

  • If you feel sick, stay home and ask someone else to do your shopping for you, or wait until you feel better. If you’re coughing and sneezing frequently, please do not shop at the store. If you are elderly and/or ill and do not have others to shop for you, please call us to inquire about our home shopping delivery options.
  • Leave all personal bags and containers at home as they will not be used in the store.
  • Wash your hands frequently, especially before and after shopping and before preparing food or eating (even in the car on the way home). Hand washing is more effective than sanitizer.
  • Use the hand sanitizer at the entrance and throughout the store to reduce spreading germs to others.
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Dispose of any tissues you have used as soon as possible in a lined wastebasket and wash your hands afterwards.
  • Avoid touching your face whenever possible.
  • Please do not panic buy. Like always, we are carefully monitoring our inventory to be able to continuously provide food for everyone, so please be thoughtful and community-minded when shopping.

For more information from the Public Health Agency of Canada, click here.

We will continue to make changes as the situation evolves


Frequently Asked Questions about our Co-op’s Response to COVID-19

Why are we taking such decisive action?

As a public space and a community gathering place, we have an increased responsibility to the public to ensure we help to flatten the curve of COVID-19 transmission. We are each responsible for ourselves, and we are also responsible for our community, especially seniors or those with compromised immune systems. Proactive measures can help slow the spread of this illness. By taking decisive action, we can all help to reduce the number of cases in our community and help our public health system respond effectively.

Is this overreacting?

The coronavirus can be spread by people who are not showing any symptoms. We are following the advice of public health agencies where guidance is available and acting out of an abundance of caution to help reduce the risk of infection. We urge all community members to stay calm and be careful in order to help protect our community.

What about other additional steps to reduce risk?

Please review the list of measures we’re taking. We are hopeful the measures we are taking might reduce the most significant risks. As the situation evolves, we will take additional action as warranted.

Are any staff sick with coronavirus?

We are not aware of the personal health situation of every employee. We are also not legally allowed to share personal health information of which we are aware. That said, we are still in the midst of cold and flu season and are diligently following the recommendations of the public health and governmental agencies to ensure best efforts of protecting our staff, members and the community at large.

If at any time we become aware of a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the store, either staff or customer, we will communicate to all staff and the public as per our emergency response protocols and in accordance with public health recommendations.

Why can’t I use my personal grocery bags bulk/produce bags, containers or mug?

We are following grocery best practices and the advice and direction of public health agencies to respond to this pandemic. Each of us, and members of our household, can be contagious days before showing any symptoms. Our bags and containers from home may be contaminated without us knowing, and this can contaminate our store. At this time, we don’t have the proper equipment, procedure or staffing necessary to sanitize containers or bags in-store or monitor/assess every container/bag that is brought into the store for proper cleanliness.

Does our Co-op deliver?

Our Co-op offers a home shop service to people who are confined to their homes due to illness or injury and who have no one who can shop for them. If an outbreak occurs in our community, the service will be limited to certain staple items, and offered only as staffing and delivery is available. To learn more about the service and to complete an application, visit the Home Shop Service page on our website.

What about Co-op events and cooking classes?

We have cancelled all events scheduled for March and April, including cooking classes. If you are signed up for a cooking class, please check your email inbox or expect a phone call from us regarding a refund for your cancelled class.

Is our Co-op still going to hold the Spring Case Lot in April?

Our Spring Case Lot Sale has been cancelled