LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Nevada grocery stores are working to adopt new procedures and protocols following Gov. Steve Sisolak's directive to do more to enforce social distancing requirements and safety measures aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.
On Wednesday, Gov. Sisolak outlined some of the new changes in his directive.
"I am prohibiting all grocery stores from offering self-service food stations, salad bars, or other unpackaged bulk dry goods to customers," said Gov. Sisolak during a news conference Wednesday.
Authorities said items such as nuts, seeds, candy and beans were examples of bulks items that are sold out of the larger container and publicly used scoop.
"We don't want customers touching and retouching the same scoop handles over and over and over," said Gov. Sisolak.
State authorities are recommending that grocery stores reduce customer count to just 20 to 30 percent of the building capacity to maximize social distancing measures.
Additionally, stores are encouraged to increase cleanings of self-serve check out stands and place physical barriers between cashiers and the public.
"We've been to the grocery store, and there's a lot of waiting, a lot of lines," said Julie Danner, a Las Vegas resident.
"The social distancing in stores has been really amazing, they have everything taped off, and they have a lot of good rules," added Danner.
Danner has been going to the grocery store for those who are unable to due to health or economic reasons and started the Las Vegas, Henderson Coronavirus Community Rescue & Barter group on Facebook.
As of Friday night, it has more than 2,000 members.
"There are a few families that are really suffering, so we are picking up a few hams where we could, for their Easter dinner, a lot of families are getting food boxes for the weekend holiday," said Danner.
Gov. Sisolak recognized Danner as the Nevada Hero of the Day during the Wednesday news conference.
Danner says her husband, Jim Danner, is always right by her side and credits the hundreds of other group members for making the difference in the community.
"Thank you, Julie, for all that you are doing to help your fellow Nevadans," said Gov. Sisolak.
As for the additional guidelines, Nevada authorities stress individuals should limit their exposure to COVID-19 by reducing grocery shopping to once per week or less.
Also, individuals should try and shop alone, without family members or children, to further reduce the risk of COVID-19 contamination, according to authorities.