Hy-Vee reserving hour of shopping time for 'high-risk' customers

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Hy-Vee Inc. announced Wednesday that, in response to customer requests, it will be reserving one hour of shopping time prior to its new opening time each day for customers considered “high-risk."

“We are extremely concerned about the spread of this virus, and want to respond to our customers who are at higher risk of serious illness by offering them a time where they may feel a bit safer shopping in our stores,” said Randy Edeker, Hy-Vee’s chairman, CEO and president.

The reserved hour will be from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m., seven days a week, and is designed for these customers:

  • Ages 60 and older
  • Expectant mothers
  • Anyone with an underlying health condition(s) that makes him/her more susceptible to serious illness

Pharmacies in most Hy-Vee locations will also be extending their hours so they can serve this group of customers from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. These locations include pharmacies inside our grocery stores, Mainstreet locations, Dollar Fresh stores and Hy-Vee Drugstores.

All other customers are asked to respect this hour reserved for these at-risk customers, and limit their shopping to Hy-Vee’s new store hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.

Pipestone monument closing Visitor Center

PIPESTONE — Pipestone National Monument is announcing modifications to operations to implement the latest guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and local and state authorities to promote social distancing.

As of March 18, the Visitor Center is closed until further notice. The grounds will remain open so that visitors are able to enjoy the Circle Trail.

The National Park Service (NPS) is working with the federal, state and local authorities to closely monitor the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. It will notify the public when we resume full operations and provide updates on our website and social media channels.

The NPS urges visitors to do their part when visiting a park and to follow CDC guidance to prevent the spread of infectious diseases by maintaining a safe distance between themselves and other groups; washing their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoiding touching their eyes, nose, and mouth; covering your mouth and nose when they cough or sneeze; and most importantly, staying home if they feel sick.

For high-risk populations, such as the elderly and people with underlying conditions, it's asked that they take extra caution and follow CDC guidance for those at higher risk of serious illness.

Sterling Pharmacy locations to close

AUSTIN — Sterling Pharmacy has announced new efforts to slow the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to keep its communities and employees safe. Effective Thursday, all Sterling Pharmacy locations will be closed to the general public.

The pharmacies will remain open and continue to fill prescriptions, but patients will need to receive their orders via curbside pick-up, free home delivery or free mail delivery.

“We are taking the spread of COVID-19 very seriously, and we believe these sensible measures will allow us to continue to serve our communities in the safest way possible,” said Sam Ewing, president of Sterling Pharmacy. “These changes will encourage patients to practice social distancing and help keep our employees and colleagues in the healthcare system healthy through this difficult time.”

Delivery drivers will be added to ensure all patients have access to their prescriptions. Sterling is asking patients to call the pharmacy for prescription needs but strongly encourages patients to order online at YourSterlingPharmacy.com.

No end date is set on the new efforts. Sterling will continue to assess the situation.

Jackson library programs postponed

JACKSON — The Jackson County Library postponed several upcoming library programs due to library closure regarding COVID-19.

Programs at the Jackson, Lakefield and Heron Lake libraries have been postponed through April 29.

Pipestone County offices closed to the public

PIPESTONE — The Pipestone County Board of Commissioners voted in a special meeting Thursday afternoon to close all Pipestone County offices, with some exceptions, to the public, effective 8 a.m. Friday until further notice.

Exceptions include essential court appearances and county board meetings.

County operations will continue via phone and email. For a list of department contacts, visit www.pipestone-county.com or call Emergency Management at (507) 825-1170 or County Administration at (507) 825-1200.

WPU issues reminder on flushable objects

WORTHINGTON — Due to the increased demand for and resulting shortage of toilet paper caused by reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, Worthington Public Utilities would like to remind sewer customers within the city of Worthington to be mindful of what should and what should not be flushed down their toilets.

Flushing anything other than toilet paper can lead to problems for homes and businesses and cause issues with the municipal sewer collection and treatment systems. Flushing wipes (even those labeled “flushable”) and other non-toilet paper materials may cause clogged lines, sewer backups into basements and damage to sewer lift station pumps and other wastewater process equipment.

Worthington Public Utilities customers are asked to pay attention to what is being used in

their homes and businesses for sanitary purposes, and to make sure that only toilet paper is being flushed and all other materials are being properly disposed of.

Examples of products that are not flushable and must be disposed of as regular trash include the following: paper towels; napkins; Kleenex and other tissues; wet wipes/baby wipes (even those labeled as “flushable”); diapers; feminine hygiene products; and gauze/bandages/band-aids.