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COVID-19: Haida Gwaii grocery stores tighten restrictions

Some in-store grocery shopping shuts down following confirmation of community outbreak
City Centre Stores in Queen Charlotte temporarily shut down in-store grocery shopping during the same week that a community outbreak of COVID-19 was declared on the islands. (Karissa Gall/Haida Gwaii Observer)

UPDATE: Wednesday, Aug. 5, 10:30 a.m.

City Centre Stores reopened to in-store shopping on Wednesday (Aug. 5) with masks being mandatory, as well as the use of hand sanitizer when entering the store.

Customers are asked to only touch things they will be purchasing and practice social distancing while shopping.

A maximum of five people will be allowed inside the store at a time.

UPDATE: Tuesday, July 28, 5 p.m.

The Skidegate Co-op reopened to in-store shopping on July 28 with masks and gloves being mandatory.

Masks and gloves are being offered to customers who do not have them.

A maximum of seven people were being allowed inside the store at a time.

ORIGINAL: Monday, July 27, 9:30 a.m.

Haida Gwaii grocery stores have tightened restrictions since a community outbreak of COVID-19 was declared on the islands on July 24.

Some grocers have taken in-store shopping off of the table, offering curbside pick-up and delivery services instead.

City Centre Stores in Queen Charlotte announced it had closed to in-store shopping on Thursday, asking customers to either phone 250-559-4444 or email for curbside pick-up.

“This is for the safety of our communities and staff,” a sign on the door said. “Sorry for any inconvenience.”

For orders sent by email, staff asked that customers send a numbered list with their name, phone number, preferred pick-up time and itemized grocery list.

ALSO READ: Community outbreak of COVID-19 confirmed on Haida Gwaii

The Isabel Creek Store was still allowing in-store shopping, but with masks required and a maximum of one person inside the store at a time. Customers without a mask were being asked to call 250-559-8623 or email with their grocery order for pick-up.

Causeway Queen Charlotte was also still allowing in-store shopping, but with masks required.

The Skidegate Co-op was taking curbside orders only. Email lists to, call 250-559-8078 or drive lists up to the store, though staff were advising that the latter option would likely involve a wait.

Both the Skidegate and Masset Co-op stores were also accepting orders through a new online grocery form launched on July 24.

“Online ordering is here,” the website said. “Due to recent COVID-19 restrictions, we are providing curbside service temporarily at both food store locations.”

According to the website, orders are being filled on a first-come, first-served basis and same-day pick-up “might not be available.”

“We can only process so many orders in a day, thank you for understanding,” it said.

Customers were also advised to “order enough quantities to last you for the week.”

At the time of publication, in-store shopping was still being allowed at the Co-op in Masset, with a maximum of 10 customers inside at a time.

ALSO READ: Consumers flocked to online shopping as pandemic hit, with e-commerce sales up 99%

The Sandspit Super Valu was allowing a maximum of five customers at a time to shop in-store with a mask as well as providing the option of staff shopping for customers. For curbside pick-up at Super Valu, call 250-637-2494 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. for same-day shopping, or email lists to Orders received after 3 p.m. will be processed the next day.

Crow’s Nest Cafe and Country Store was allowing a maximum of two people inside at a time, with masks being mandatory.

Bayview Market was also taking email and phone orders for curbside pick-up or delivery.

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