Following the recommendation of the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services, a number of Mill Valley grocery stores are stepping up to offer people 65 or older being more vulnerable to the coronavirus, or COVID-19, a dedicated a period of time in the morning to shop.

“Although this is not a mandate, it is a recommendation to join the community-wide response and reduce anxiety for our older residents,” Marin County Public Health Officer Matt Willis said in a statement.

Safeway announced Wednesday that it will be adopting this change at both of its stores in Mill Valley – 1 Camino Alto and 800 Redwood Hwy. in Strawberry Village. Those dedicated hours are every Tuesday and Thursday, starting Thursday of this week, and last until 9 a.m. on those weekdays.

Whole Foods Market at 414 Miller Ave. and 731 East Blithedale launched a program in which each store’s first hour of each day (8am-9am) is reserved for folks 60 and over. “The response from our customers has been overwhelming positive,” says Whole Foods Miller’s general manager Clarke Pomeroy. “We are proud to be able to serve the community in this difficult time and grateful for our customers that choose to come here.”

And Good Earth Natural Foods at 201 Flamingo Rd. announced Thursday that “beginning Saturday, March 21, we’ll be changing our hours to better serve you, with 9-10am “reserved for those who are 60+, pregnant, or immunocompromised. We ask for your help in maintaining this hour for the most vulnerable members of our community.”

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