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'We're just trying to do our best': Grocery store employees working around the clock during coronavirus outbreak

Grocery store employees are concerned about their own health as people continue to visit stores to stock up on supplies.

MERIDIAN, Idaho — For thousands of service workers in and around the country, the coronavirus outbreak has been exhausting, thanks to the demands being placed on businesses like grocery stores.

At one Meridian Albertsons, 30-year veteran Judy Brede, who has worked at stores in both Idaho and in Florida, said she's never said anything like this.

"I've been through hurricanes," Brede said. "This is way worse because it's lasted longer."

Longer, because nearly everyone is preparing for the possibility of isolation for an extended period of time to help stop the spread. But with so many people flocking to grocery stores, workers like Brede are worried about their own health.

"We are all at risk being here because we're not six feet apart from our customers and we're touching their money," she said.

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Per Central District Health guidelines, Albertsons, along with other grocery stores across the country, are taking extra precautions in keeping both employees and customers safe. Measures include adding more hand sanitizing stations and increasing how often check stands, service counters and other parts of the store are cleaned and disinfected.

Brede said she hopes customers recognize not only the extra steps they're taking to keep everyone safe but that they're members of the community too and are in the same boat, just like everyone else.

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"Just remember that we're human beings too, we have feelings," Brede said. "Just take care of us too, because we're taking care of them."

As far as the toilet paper issue is concerned, Brede says it's still a call they get multiple times a day.

"I kind of want to start answering, "Thank you for calling your friendly Albertsons, no we do not have toilet paper, how may I help you? But they won't let us do that."

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