To Our Community,
I know we have all been looking forward to the day when we could start rolling back the restrictions put in place in response to the pandemic.
Last week, I stated that we have begun a comprehensive process of reviewing our COVID-19 policies. Today, I would like to briefly update you on our efforts.
Some policies are more straight-forward and less complicated than others. Policies like the mask mandate are more complex to address. Why?
- First, employee safety, as well as the safety of our shoppers and vendors, is our top priority, and these policies have kept our business environments safe throughout the pandemic.
- Second, vaccinations are a personal choice for a multitude of reasons. Knowing who has or has not been vaccinated, employee or shopper, is not easy as there are limits to what we can ask people.
- Third, local municipalities are reviewing their policies and will be evolving their guidance and ordinances in the days and weeks ahead. We are monitoring these changes closely but need to understand the entirety of these changes.
- Finally, individuals sit on both sides of this issue and balancing those disparate points of view is not a walk in the park.
In short, deciding what we could roll back and when was never going to be easy. That is why today I am pleased to announce that we are launching a new tool, our COVID Policy Dashboard, to help guide our decision-making.
The end goal of this is transparency. We want you to see exactly which policy is under review, any status updates, effective dates, and why the policy has or has not been changed.
The items on our dashboard reflect the collective efforts of our business unit managers, their department managers, our Food Safety and Advisory Team (FAST), and the leadership team. My thanks to them for their efforts and diligence in this process.
COVID Policy Dashboard
As the leadership team works through evaluating these policies, the dashboard will be updated regularly. I want to be clear that though we are looking at each policy individually, we have to keep in mind any potential unintended consequences, and be realistic about the ripple effect a change in policy may have.
Obviously there are no easy answers here. Our employees have sacrificed a lot to keep our locations safe, so we will proceed cautiously as we review all of our policies.
As always, I would like to thank all of our members and shoppers for the continued support. Please feel free to reach out to me with questions or concerns. In the meantime, remember to be kind to one another and to yourselves, and we look forward to serving you in our stores and at the curbside.
Onward and upward,