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Pantops Giant to restrict customers in store; Albemarle to close school stadiums

Officials with Giant Stores, the parent company of the Pantops Giant grocery store, announced Tuesday the start of restrictions on the number of customers in the store at one time as well as changes to the store aisles to assist in social distancing.

Store aisles are now marked as one-way paths to support social distancing and improve the flow of customer traffic. Arrow markers on the floor will designate traffic direction throughout the aisles and associates will be available to point customers in the correct directions.

Beginning Thursday, Giant is implementing a customer count limit in its stores. Occupancy will be limited to 20% of each specific store’s overall capacity taking into consideration shelving and display fixtures.

To manage customer occupancy limits, an associate will be stationed at the front entrance tracking shopper flow.

Albemarle County officials announced that, as of Tuesday, employees would don cloth face masks, following CDC recommendations for helping slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“Our staff conducting field work and interfacing directly with the public will be wearing cloth face coverings,” officials said in a statement. “This includes our inspectors, other essential personnel and first responders. “

County first responders will still wear medical personal protective equipment when answering medical calls.

On Tuesday, Albemarle County School Division officials announced that high school stadiums and tracks would be closed after the division received reports of people getting to close to each other.

“Following reports to the school division from county residents of violations of Governor Ralph Northam’s public health order on social distancing, Albemarle County Public Schools has locked all entrances to its high school tracks and stadiums,” officials said in a statement.

The stadiums and tracks join all school playgrounds, tennis courts and basketball courts in being closed to the public.

Middle school tracks and fields remain open.

Also on Tuesday, the Virginia Employment Commission announced increases to unemployment compensation of $600 as part of the federal Corona Virus Aid, Relief and Economic Security act.

The CARES Act provides increased benefits for workers collecting unemployment insurance by for claims effective March 29 through July 31.

Increased benefits will start to be paid as soon as next week.

The act also provides benefits for previously uncovered workers, such as those self-employed or contractors under a new federal program. Workers must apply through unemployment channels at or

The state is required to verify eligibility under traditional unemployment before allowing claimants to be considered for the new program.


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