Staying Vigilant, Staying Safe

A Letter from the Co-op General Manager

To Our Community,

As the days become shorter and cooler, experts in the health care community are raising concerns over the increasing rise in COVID-19 cases throughout the country, a third wave if you will. To date, our country has surpassed 8 million cases. In a normal year, we would only be concerned with seasonal flu. This has been anything but a normal year.

In fact, seven months ago, nearly to do the day, I began writing to you, and our employees, with regular updates about our co-op’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our in-house copywriter, who helps me keep track of the messaging, tells me that as of today I have shared more than 350 pages of material. (My first novel.) And through it all, the theme has been consistent: our top priority is to keep our employees and shoppers safe.

With that in mind, I would like to draw your attention to this map, which illustrates COVID cases in our area. Updated every Tuesday, the map indicates that virus rates are increasing all around us, and public health officials do not expect anything to change anytime soon. Quite the opposite, in fact. As we move indoors over the long New England winter ahead, things may only get worse.

Fortunately, we have learned a lot over the past seven months. Through aggressive social-distancing protocols and good common sense, we have managed to keep our cooperative community relatively safe and healthy.

That is why today I would like to remind all of our members, shoppers, and employees for the need to remain vigilant. Remember that our social-distancing policies are our new normal.

It is very important that we pay strict attention to these protocols, and continue to follow the practices that have worked so well. These include following all recommended signs in stores, being patient as our employees sanitize work spaces between customer interactions, staying at least six feet away from others, and of course, wearing face coverings—either masks or shields—that cover both nose and mouth.

These policies—face coverings included—apply to everyone, including vendors who may go no farther than the receiving docks. The rule is simple: No mask, no entry, no exceptions.

At the Co-op, our social-distancing measures have been forward-thinking and proactive from the beginning. The vast majority of our shoppers have been very supportive of these policies, and our employees, as always, have been champions of navigating change. Moving forward, I would like to remind all of our members and shoppers, as I have our employees, that we are certainly not out of the woods yet. Please continue to wear a mask and be mindful of our social-distancing guidelines. In tandem with this, keep in mind that the employees who have to implement mask mandates or sanitize belts and work spaces between customer interactions are doing their jobs and working to keep us all safe.

Thank you to all of our members and shoppers, and as always, I welcome your comments and questions. Please reach out to me anytime. In the meantime, remember to be kind to one another and to yourselves, and we will see you in our stores and at the curbside.

Onward and upward,

Thanks,

Paul

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Paul Guidone

Paul Guidone

Paul Guidone, CFA, spent the better part of four decades in the investment management business here and abroad. He held positions ranging from analyst through Deputy Chairman and Group CEO, at organizations such as Citigroup (US) and The HSBC Group (London and Hong Kong). He joined the Co-op in 2016 as the CFO and in 2018 became Strategic Advisor to the General Manager. Paul was appointed General Manager by the Co-op Board in September 2020. To contact, email PGuidone@coopfoodstore.com.
Paul Guidone

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