COVID-19 Updates from the Co-op

Image
City Market's onion logo in a red circle placed in front of a blue horizontal rectangle.

Positive Case Reports

The dashboard below reflects Covid-19 cases among staff at the Co-op in the last 30 days. For more information on City Market's process for responding to infection among staff and approaching contract tracing, see our Positive Case Protocol below.

Date of Positive Case # of Positive Cases Store Location of Employee Contact Tracing Required?*
10/4/2022 2 DT Yes
10/3/2022 4 DT Yes
10/2/2022 1 DT Yes
9/30/2022 1 SE Yes
9/30/2022 1 DT Yes
9/29/2022 1 DT Yes
9/27/2022 1 DT Yes
9/26/2022 1 SE Yes
9/25/2022 1 SE Yes
9/21/2022 1 DT Yes
9/21/2022 1 SE Yes
9/20/2022 1 SE No
9/20/2022 1 DT Yes
9/14/2022 1 DT No
9/13/2022 1 DT No
9/11/2022 1 DT Yes
9/10/2022 1 DT Yes
9/8/2022 1 DT No
9/5/2022 2 SE Yes

Quick Links:

 

Customer Face Covering Update

UPDATED MARCH 28, 2022

Face coverings are now optional in accordance with the Vermont Department of Health’s updated guidance that no longer recommends indoor mask use outside of healthcare settings or public transit.

UPDATED MARCH 3, 2022

As of March 3, 2022, the City of Burlington no longer requires the use of masks inside public buildings. Face coverings are now recommended but not required.

UPDATED DECEMBER 2, 2021

Starting December 3, 2021, the City of Burlington is implementing a city-wide mask mandate inside public buildings. As such, all individuals over the age of 2 are required to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth while inside our building regardless of vaccination status.

UPDATED AUGUST 13, 2021

Due to current COVID-19 transmission rates in Chittenden County, the CDC recommends that all individuals wear face masks while in public indoor spaces regardless of vaccination status. Please note: Face coverings are recommended but not required.

 

Operational Changes Timeline

A summary of events and operational changes made at City Market in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

MARCH 3, 2022

Burlington City-wide mask mandate lifted

 

DECEMBER 3, 2021

Burlington City-wide mask mandate implemented, requiring face coverings for staff and customers

 

JULY 6, 2021

Salad bar, in-person sandwich ordering, and indoor cafés fully re-opened

 

JULY 5, 2021

Customer capacity limits lifted at both stores

 

JUNE 14, 2021

Face coverings become optional for customers and staff

 

MARCH 17, 2021

Updated face covering policy in accordance with latest CDC guidelines

 

JANUARY 7, 2021

Air Purifiers added to shared office spaces and filtration system updated

 

JUNE 21, 2020

Store hours expanded

 

MAY 19, 2020

Counting software installed to assist with capacity monitoring

 

MAY 16, 2020

Implemented Door Greeter program sanitizing baskets and carts, offering masks, monitoring capacity

 

MAY 15, 2020

Implemented mandatory health screenings for staff and temperature checks upon arrival to work (in accordance with state guidelines)

 

MAY 6, 2020

Implemented mandatory face coverings for customers

 

APRIL 19, 2020

Implemented mandatory face coverings for staff

 

APRIL 7, 2020

Limited capacity to less than 20% at both stores

 

MARCH 29, 2020

Reduced store hours

 

MARCH 24, 2020

Plexi glass installed at registers

 

MARCH 13, 2020

State of Emergency Declared in VT

 

Things to Know Before You Visit

Updated Store Hours

As of Sunday, September 19, 2021, we have temporarily changed our store hours to the following:

Downtown
Open 7am - 9pm every day

South End
Open 7am - 9pm every day

As your community owned co-op, we serve as a resource to thousands of people every day, offering resources, products and services that are critical to their health and well-being, as well as that of their families. In an effort to continue to fulfill that role and ensure that we are providing the greatest levels of access to the resources we offer, we have decided to temporarily change our store operating hours. We will still be open daily, striving to provide the best customer service, access, and products that you have grown accustomed to.

Reusable Bags Are Now Allowed

On July 1, 2020, Vermont’s Single-Use Product Law (Act 69) went into effect. This means that single-use plastic bags are no longer available at the registers. In compliance with the legislation, we are required to charge 10 cents per paper bag. Reusable bags are allowed and encouraged to use at both stores!

Reusable Containers 

As more information became available around the transmission of Covid-19, we adjusted our restrictions on outside containers. As of May 2021, all reusable containers are allowed.

Return Policy

We are now accepting product returns at our stores. We will reinstate our original return policy with additional sanitation measures for any restocked product. 

Bottle Redemption

Bottle redemption has resumed at both store locations.

While You Are Shopping at the Co-op

Customer Limits Lifted

As of July 5, 2021, our stores no longer have capacity limits in place.

During the height of the pandemic, we strategically utilized capacity limits as one tool to allow for safe distancing for customers and staff inside our stores. We implemented a software system that alerted us when we approached the limit and stationed staff at the entrance to facilitate queuing when the quota was reached. We purposefully set limits of less than 15% of our total allowed capacity for the space.

Bulk Departments Re-opened

Our bulk departments have now returned to self-serve without the need for single-use scoops.

During the pandemic, we adjusted our Bulk Department offerings to have many pre-packaged items and removed several fixtures. This kept popular items available in bulk while limiting contact with surfaces and facilitating social distancing. In August 2020, we partially re-opened Bulk by implementing a single-use scoop system.

Directional Signage Removed

One-way directional signage has been removed.

Another adjustment made during the pandemic included one-way directional signage across our stores. These arrows helped to ease the flow of traffic, reduce congestion, and further enhance social distancing among staff and customers.

Hybrid Hot/Cold Bar Re-opened

Our self-serve hot and cold bars have fully re-opened.

Self-serve food was one of the first things we adjusted at the beginning of the pandemic. We pivoted to offer many pre-packaged, to-go items to comply with COVID-19 guidance and best practices. In May 2021, we transitioned back to a hybrid model for our hot/cold bar with a selection of self-serve items. In July 2021, our salad bars were fully re-opened.

Custom Sandwich Ordering

In-person sandwich ordering has returned. Please click here for hours and menu.

During the pandemic, we offered pre-made sandwiches and call-in phone ordering. In-person sandwich ordered returned in July 2021.

Self-Serve Coffee is Back

We are now offering self-serve coffee again at our coffee bar. Gloves, tissue paper and hand sanitizer are available when making your selection. Personal mugs are allowed as of May 2021.

Café Seating Areas Re-opened

Our indoor and outdoor café seating areas have re-opened.

To comply with social distancing recommendations and rules about indoor dining, we closed our indoor seating areas during the pandemic. This also enabled us to create additional breakroom space for staff using that space. As of July 2021, indoor seating re-opened for customers.

Special Order Policy

We are now accepting Special Orders again.

We experienced supply chain and product availability disruptions towards the beginning of the pandemic. This created a challenge for fulfilling Special Orders. Once availability from our distributors began to stabilize, we began taking Special Orders again.

Additional Gloves Available

Gloves are available for staff and customer use throughout our stores, particularly in these departments: Produce, Bulk, Self-serve pastries and bagels.

Keeping Our Customers & Staff Safe

Food Safety

Food safety is of the upmost importance at the Co-op. Our employees must follow a strict set of procedures when handling a wide variety of products from prepared foods to fresh items, and even packaged items across our different departments.

Many employees are ServSafe® certified, with the majority of our Prepared Foods department staff certified in the ServSafe® Protection Manager Certification Examination, a higher level certification offered by ServSafe®. ServSafe® is a highly regarded food-safety training program administered by the U.S. National Restaurant Association.

Employee Face Coverings

Face coverings are optional for employees in accordance with City of Burlington and Vermont Department of Health guidance.

Front End Updates

Plexi-glass shields at our check-out registers have been removed.

We utilized plexi-glass shields as an additional safety measure where physical distancing options were limited.

Increased Sanitizing & Cleaning

We have distributed extra sanitizer wipes throughout the store and staff workspaces to encourage increased surface cleaning. We have increased the frequency of surface cleaning by our Facilities teams in common areas, to include handrails, door handles, carts, baskets, etc.

Home Delivery & Curbside Pickup

Please click here for the latest information about our Home Delivery and Curbside Pickup service.

Staff & Community News

Staff Appreciation Bonus

For information about staff appreciation bonuses during COVID-19, please refer to this page.

Employee Wellness

We understand that ensuring the health and wellness of our Co-op staff is integral to ensuring the health and wellness of our broader community. That said, in addition to reminding our staff of proper sanitation and handwashing techniques, as well as continuously updating communication around COVID-19, we offer generous Paid Time Off (PTO), and encourage employees to err on the side of caution should any concern over well-being arise.

At the Co-op, employees are encouraged to use their paid time off, stay home, and reduce the spread of illness. Additionally, we offer a comprehensive benefits package with healthcare coverage for both part and full time employees, so employees are not making the difficult choice of choosing to forego a visit to the doctor’s office due to concerns over out of pocket expenses. At the Co-op, we have consistently emphasized the importance of a comprehensive approach to benefits, ensuring that our employees have access to high quality medical care as a part of their overall compensation package.

Classes & Events

We have resumed in-person, outdoor class programming. For more information about our policies and to view our classes & events, visit our Events page on our website! 

Please contact City Market’s Assistant Outreach & Education Manager, Carrie Putscher with any questions at cputscher@citymarket.coop or (802) 861-9757. 

Local Farmers Carry On

As the COVID-19 outbreak emerged, local farmers carried on and ensured that Vermonters continued to have access to local produce, dairy, meat, and more. We witnessed farmers quickly adapt to this changing reality, adjusting their operations and finding creative ways to get local food to people. From increasing direct to consumer sales to working with food shelves and other non-profits, farmers have demonstrated what makes Vermont’s food system such an integral part of our community fabric. We gathered the stories of our resilient local farmers as we worked together to strengthen our local food system during a challenging time.

Member Worker Orientations

Member worker orientations are now offered virtually. For the latest information and a list of upcoming orientations, click here.

April Update from our Board President, Faye Mack and General Manager, John Tashiro

 

Positive Case Protocol

In the case of a positive test result of a Co-op employee, City Market follows the guidance of the Vermont Department of Health and the CDC. If the employee was at work during their infectious period, contact tracing (based on shifts worked) begins.

City Market uses a combination of shift logs, video footage, and other documentation to identify individuals who meet the standard of close contact: being within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes in a 24-hour period.

City Market employees who are identified as close contacts are then provided with a letter from the Vermont Department of Health outlining the relevant testing and quarantine guidance.

Simultaneously, as contact tracing is underway (in cases where necessary), the Covid-19 Positive Case Reports dashboard is updated.

Resources

We understand that there continues to be a lot of uncertainty during this time and encourage our community members to review the resources below for the most up to date and comprehensive information available.

As always, we are happy to field questions or provide further clarity about our practices and appreciate your understanding as we navigate this evolving reality. Please reach out to our General Manager, John Tashiro at JTashiro@citymarket.coop to share your thoughts.