Costco Wholesale Club will soon reduce its COVID-19 senior hours to twice per week

Costco Wholesale Club will soon reduce its COVID-19 senior hours to twice per week

Costco Wholesale Club is reducing its special operating hours for members 60 and older to two times per week.

Starting the week of July 13, the reserved shopping time at most stores for senior shoppers, members with disabilities or immunocompromised will be 9 to 10 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday, the retailer posted on its coronavirus updates page.

The designated hour, which started March 24 as a twice-weekly event, was quickly extended to three times a week and extended again to weekday mornings at most clubs when they resumed normal hours in early May.

Costco confirmed to USA TODAY that "there will likely be exceptions" at some clubs as regular hours can vary.

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Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, grocery stores and essential retailers started dedicating time or opening earlier for senior shoppers and other at-risk groups. As stores that were temporarily closed have reopened, some also have set aside time for vulnerable customers.

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Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated and expanded the list of who is at increased risk for getting severely ill from COVID-19. Among adults, risk increases steadily as you age with the greatest risk of severe illness among those 85 or older. Eight out of 10 COVID-19-related deaths reported in the U.S. have been among adults aged 65 years and older, the CDC said.

The CDC also updated the list of underlying medical conditions that increase risk of severe illness, increasing the number of people who fall into higher risk groups.

Costco has made several changes because of the pandemic including suspending returns of select items and discontinuing its popular half-sheet cakes in May.

In June, Costco started bringing back free samples to a small number of its 548 U.S. locations, months after suspending sampling due to the virus. Samples are now prepackaged items and kept behind plexiglass shields.

Contributing: Grace Hauck and Elizabeth Weise

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko


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