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What are home improvement stores doing to implement social distancing?

After hearing your concerns, KVUE looked into how these essential stores are implementing social distancing.

AUSTIN, Texas — Even on a rainy day, customers were still coming and going from home improvement stores like The Home Depot and Lowe's Home Improvement on Monday. 

Over the weekend, these essential retail stores were even more packed – there was even a full parking lot at a Lowe's in Bee Cave, Texas.

Many viewers voiced concerns about how busy some of these home improvement stores have been, so KVUE reached out to them to see how they are enforcing social distancing inside. 

Christina Cornell with Home Depot said they took a number of steps to protect customers and staff. 

"Something new we have been doing is assigning social distancing captains in our stores," Cornell said. "They will be looking at people in line, making sure they are six feet apart.

Cornell said along with signage, Home Depot does announcements on the PA system, reminding people to practice social distancing for the safety of the staff. 

To go a step further, she said some locations are allowing only 100 customers inside of the building at a time.


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Lowe's provided this statement with similar guidelines they are following: 

"The health and well-being of our associates and customers is our top priority and we continue to take preventative measures at the guidance of the CDC to ensure the safety of our operations. All Lowe’s stores have signage encouraging social distancing measures as well as overhead announcements every 15 minutes to remind customers. We also have clear signs and floor markers to reinforce CDC social distancing guidelines. Customers also have the option to checkout via mobile point of sale. 

 Some additional operational measures include: enhancing daily cleaning efforts, increasing time spent cleaning and sanitizing stores, rescheduling non-essential services and installations, adding additional third-party cleaning and providing clear signs and floor markers to reinforce CDC social distancing guidelines. For our associates, we are encouraging them to stay home if they are sick, offering 14 days paid emergency leave for all associates, with up to a month of paid leave for associates in vulnerable groups. We are also extending telemedicine benefits to all our associates and their families."

To ensure their employees don't feel forced to come to work if they're sick, both companies said they are providing paid leave, especially for vulnerable older employees.

"We know that the CDC identifies older Americans as being most at risk, so associates who are 65 and older, in addition, we are giving them even more paid time off," Cornell said. "So, if they are uncomfortable working at this time, they can take additional paid time off."

KVUE also reached out to Harbor Freight and ACE Hardware but we have not heard back.

If you see any Austin company not practicing social distancing, you can contact Austin 3-1-1

WATCH: A NASA astronaut's tips for social distancing


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