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California Counties Enact New COVID-19 Safety Orders Impacting Grocery Businesses

"With COVID19 surging during the holidays, and now new stay-at-home orders in place, customers have generated unprecedented demand for grocery delivery," says Sean Howell, Buffalo Market co-founder.  

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, more Americans have moved their shopping online. 80% of the country has looked to find ways to buy more online. Buffalo Market has added over 88% capacity since the start of COVID-19, expanding warehouse, teams, and shifts to keep up with the demand. Additional time, care, and team members are needed to maintain the extra safety precautions, social distancing, and contactless delivery.

As the COVID-19 crisis continues, so does people’s need to safely obtain basic necessities. Many more Americans are turning to online grocery services to get their essentials delivered. For those who are high at risk, online shopping is one of the safer solutions, and Buffalo Market has remained fee free for deliveries in core service areas and offers everyday savings and value to help those most in need.

A leading decision maker for our customers is having items in stock and contactless delivery. This means our drivers bring your groceries to your door without making contact. Receipts and notifications are instead delivered via email and text to maintain social distance, for both consumers and team members.  Tips are passed to the drivers at time of purchase.  

Under the new order, retail businesses will be limited to 20% of their customer capacity inside at any one time, with requirements for store officials to ensure there’s no indoor drinking or eating.

The new restrictions appear to remove the distinction between essential and nonessential retail — a 20% cap on capacity at all stores is likely to significantly reduce capacity at essential retailers, including supermarkets and drugstores. In most of the state, essential stores had been capped at 50% of capacity; in L.A. County, they were capped at 35%; and in Santa Clara County, 25%

"We continue to find ways to increase delivery availability while ensuring safety measures and social distancing.” says Adam Olejniczak, CEO at Buffalo Market.

Since the onset of COVID Buffalo Market has put in place strategies to prioritize the safety and health of team members and customers.

  • 100% mask policy at all times, for warehouse members and drivers
  • 100% gloves requirements 
  • Temperature checks
  • Enhanced cleanliness and sanitation protocols 
  • No reusable containers, bags, etc until after the pandemic
  • Adjusting hours and extra shifts to give team members more time to restock shelves and sanitize packing facilities.
  • Expanding our protocols to our suppliers

5 Bay Area counties enacted stay-at-home order starting Sunday, not waiting for state's timeline.

State projections for occupied ICU beds vary according to region:

  • Northern California will reach capacity by early December.
  • The San Joaquin Valley will reach capacity by mid-December.
  • Southern California will reach capacity by mid- to late December.
  • Greater Sacramento will reach capacity by late December.
  • The Bay Area will reach capacity by early January.

The state has prepared 11 surge facilities to accommodate the overflow from hospitals that can be launched within 24 to 96 hours, providing a total of 1,862 beds across the pop-up facilities.

The California order divides the state into five regions. What are they?

The regions and their counties are:

Bay Area: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma

Northern California: Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity

Greater Sacramento: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo, Yuba

San Joaquin Valley: Calaveras, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San Benito, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare, Tuolumne

Southern California: Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura