By Rachel Wulff

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Certain stores are setting aside time to serve some of the most vulnerable people in our region: those over 65.

“I made it a point to come early,” said Pam Orner, a senior.

Orner stepped out Thursday morning to get what she needed from the Safeway near her midtown home.

“We gotta be protected. I debated this morning ‘do I shop online and have them deliver?’ I was weighing precautions one way or the other,” she said.

Orner is taking extra steps to protect against the coronavirus. That includes carrying a pocket-size container of hand sanitizer and avoiding touching anything and everything she comes in contact with.

“I was able to keep my distance it was a pretty light crowd,” she said.

She is one of the many seniors taking advantage of Safeway’s new policy devoting the first two hours of business Tuesdays and Thursdays to serving those 65 and up.

“It’s great, it’s great. Especially for my mom. I don’t want to see her get sick. She helps a lot of people,” said Richard Cooley.

Other stores joining in this practice are Dollar General which devotes the first hour every day to seniors, and Target, which is open early each Wednesday for seniors to get their essentials. A lot of stores have even gone so far as to ration supplies like hand sanitizer and wipes. Oner, a retiree turned artist, is trying to paint a positive picture moving forward when it comes to her new routine and this new normal.

“It is part of the deal. We gotta be safe. This is something I have never experienced in my life.”

Several other stores participating in this practice include Albertsons and Whole Foods..along with some smaller family-owned grocers.

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