Meijer to install plexiglass shields to combat coronavirus, removes Sandy the coin-operated pony

Mar 26, 2020 at 10:23 am
click to enlarge Meijer to install plexiglass shields to combat coronavirus, removes Sandy the coin-operated pony
Jonathan Weiss /

Michigan-based retailer Meijer announced Wednesday that it would be taking extra safety measures across its 248 supercenters as the coronavirus continues to sweep through the state.

Deemed an essential business by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday, Meijer and other grocery stores are among those allowed to operate during the three-week stay at home order for Michigan residents and non-essential businesses. To combat the risk of COVID-19 exposure, Meijer unveiled several new features — and the temporary removal of others.

To add another line of defense between customers and Meijer employees, the retail chain will install plexiglass cough/sneeze shields at each checkout lane. They will also use floor markers to mark a six-foot distance between customers waiting in line at checkout, pharmacy, and service counters — the space the CDC recommends for "social distancing." Folks are also being asked to use their shopping carts to gauge safe distances between themselves and other customers.

You won't be able to use reusable bags from home, either, as they're suspending the use of reusable bags in an effort to control contact with potentially contaminated materials. The only exception is to those taking advantage of Meijer's shop and scan program.

But perhaps the biggest blow to Meijer shoppers of a certain age is the removal of Sandy, the coin-operated pony ride, from its storefronts. But, like everything in this life, this too shall pass.

Also announced Wednesday was the first reported Meijer employee to test positive for coronavirus. The Warren location at 29505 Mound Road where the employee worked has undergone extensive deep cleaning, The Detroit Free Press reports, and the location will remain open.

Last week, Meijer unveiled adjusted hours of operation to allow its team members to safely sanitize and restock the store. Meijer is now open from 8 a.m.-10 p.m., so no more 24-hour shopping runs.

For those at high risk of coronavirus and complications, senior citizens and those customers who have chronic health conditions, Meijer will be open exclusively between 7-8 a.m. Tuesday-Thursday. Essential workers and Meijer employees are also encouraged to take advantage of their dedicated shopping times, which are Mondays and Wednesdays also during the 7-8 a.m. hour.

For more information about Meijer locations, adjusted hours, or sanitation efforts, visit

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