Many stores across the country are finding more ways to protect their employees and customers. The Fresh Market in North Carolina is one of the latest companies to update their store procedures. Starting today, all customers will be required to wear face masks when entering all locations.  

The Fresh Market is a Greensboro-based grocery store with 159 stores nationwide and five locations across the major Charlotte area. 

The company had previously only required employees to wear face masks, but given the recent spike in coronavirus cases in North Carolina, The Fresh Market will be enforcing additional precautions. 

The Fresh Market released an official statement in a tweet on Saturday, April 11, announcing the new procedure along with a link to the CDC page where locals can create their own face covering

In the release, Director of Food Safety and Quality Assurance at The Fresh Market James Ball states, "There is growing evidence that more individuals than previously thought may be carriers of coronavirus but do not show symptoms of the illness."

He continues, "wearing a face covering may reduce the spread of the virus by asymptomatic individuals."

This will also go in conjunction with North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper's announcement on Monday, April 13, of additional social distancing requirements.

That included all grocery stores to limit their capacity to five people per 1,000-square-feet (or 20% of posted occupancy), creating six-feet markers in places where shoppers will gather, such as check-out lines, and requiring employees to clean and disinfect more frequently.

In March, The Fresh Market shifted their store hours to 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. seven days a week. On weekdays, the first hour from 8:00-9:00 a.m. is reserved for the elderly and at-risk individuals as outlined by the CDC.

With these new adjustments, North Carolinians are hoping to see a reduced number of cases in the state and in major city areas. 

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