Calgary Co-op Covid-19 Update

April 8, 2020

To Our Valued Members,

The COVID-19 situation continues to evolve rapidly as we are seeing enhanced recommendations from government and public health agencies encouraging people and businesses to take extended measures to help reduce the spread. As I have said before, my commitment to you is to take extensive precautions across all of our lines of business to help ensure the safety of our team members, members and the community and to communicate with you throughout this process.

We have been notified by an employee of our Village Square gas station that they have tested positive for COVID-19. We have taken immediate steps to protect our staff and members, and are working with Alberta Health Services to investigate the employee's recent shifts and direct contacts to identify and support those who should self-isolate. We are following up directly with those potentially affected. We also wanted to communicate this news immediately to you. The employee has been self-isolating at home since first displaying symptoms. We are staying in close contact with the employee and are offering our support to them and their family.

Here are the steps we have already taken to address this situation:

  • We closed the location and deep cleaned and sanitized according to recommendations from Alberta Health Services. The location re-opened today.
  • We are working with AHS to identify and support anyone that the employee may have come in contact with to ensure they self-isolate.
  • We will continue to be completely transparent with our team members, members and the community throughout this pandemic.  

Calgary Co-op has been implementing a vast number of safety measures throughout this pandemic to mitigate risk, and we are taking additional measures at this particular store to ensure the safety of our members and team members.

As you know, we have been working hard with our emergency operations team and health officials to make our stores as safe as possible through this pandemic. This includes initiatives such as regular disinfection of high-touch areas, such as shopping carts, baskets, handles, pin pads and conveyor belts. We have also installed plexiglass dividers to ensure further distancing between staff and customers. We also have masks and gloves available for all frontline staff at all locations.

We have also implemented some new initiatives to ensure our stores continue to be a safe place for you to shop.

These include:

Asking you to designate one shopper per family to help reduce the number of people in store.

Limiting the number of people in store and asking for your patience as you may have to occasionally wait for others to finish their shopping.

Following the directional arrows on the floor in each of our stores to help with physical distancing and to improve the flow of traffic.

Knowing that our team members are doing their best to serve you while respecting physical distancing to keep themselves and you safe.

We are in this Together. And together, we will get through this. Together for good.

Sincerely,
Ken Keelor
CEO

Safety in our Calgary Co-op Stores

March 31, 2020

As the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) continues to have an increased impact in our community, we continue to take a number of preventative steps across all of our lines of business to help keep you, your family and our community safe. As a valued member of Calgary Co-op your safety has always been, and continues to be, our number one priority. Please see a video update from our CEO, Ken Keelor.

Calgary Co-op & U.C.C.E. Supporting its Team and the Community

March 25, 2020

This morning we announced our Calgary Co-op Champions program to our staff and our valued members. We are pleased to share the letter that Calgary Co-op CEO Ken Keelor and Pat Rose, President, U.C.C.E. sent to our team members to thank them for their service to the community and announce how we are working together to show them our appreciation.

Calgary Co-op Champions Program

You are at the very heart of Calgary Co-op, and we simply couldn’t serve our community without you. As Covid-19 continues to impact everyone’s lives, your tireless commitment to delivering exceptional customer experiences and ensuring our community is safe and cared for has not wavered.

Your dedication truly reflects the co-operative spirit, especially as you care for our members personally during these unprecedented times. We are extremely proud of you! And we hear it from our members too!

In co-operation with your Union U.C.C.E., we have developed a program designed to honour and support you, our Champions. 

Here are the details of our ‘Calgary Co-op Champions’ program:

  • All hourly frontline team members across all lines of business including union, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and Home Health Care will receive a $2.50 per hour ‘salary booster’ for all hours worked, retroactive to March 8 until May 2, 2020. We will reassess the program at that time. 
  • All team members will receive additional discounts and offers through e-mail to allow you to shop and care for their families (make sure you are signed up for email rewards).
  • We are recruiting additional temporary part-time team members to offer more store support.
  • We also have our E.F.A.P. program available to all staff whether they are at work or in quarantine.

To further support our U.C.C.E. members, the executive of the Union is providing their members with a $100 Calgary Co-op gift card to further assist them in this challenging time.

We know all team members are working long hours and working in many different ways to support our members and community. So, there will also be recognition separately for other team members who are working within our store environment.

As the situation continues to evolve, please know that you are providing an essential service to our community, and we are tremendously aware of and thankful for your commitment and dedication. This program is just one way for us to demonstrate our appreciation for you, and for everything you are doing, as you continue to ensure our stores remain a safe and healthy place to work and for our community to shop.

Stay safe and healthy. We are in this together.

Ken Keelor, CEO, Calgary Co-op
Pat Rose, President, U.C.C.E.

Rapid Strep Throat Testing Temporarily Not Available

March 23, 2020

Our rapid strep throat testing services have been placed on temporary hold in an effort to best service our customers and keep everyone safe.

We look forward to offering this convenient service again once it is safe to do so. Please visit this page for ongoing updates to all of our services.

Prescribing Pharmacists Can Help Over The Phone

March 21, 2020

Our Calgary Co-op Pharmacy team is here to help during this challenging time.

In order to keep you, our valued customers, and our staff safe we encourage you to please CALL your Calgary Co-op pharmacist with your needs before visiting the store.

Our prescribing pharmacists can help with prescribing for minor ailments and prescription renewals for chronic medications. We continue to offer free prescription delivery at no charge which will not only be convenient for you but also help keep everyone safe and healthy. Please see our notice below regarding Alberta Health's measures to ensure a drug supply for all and how this will impact your order. 

Flu and Pneumonia vaccinations are still available at all of our pharmacies for Albertans ages 5 and older, pending supply. No appointment is necessary. 

Effective Washing of Fresh Produce

March 21, 2020

We have had questions from our customers on how to wash fresh produce to ensure safety during the Covid-19 pandemic. The current recommended process is outlined below. We have also included links to the Health Canada and Canadian Produce Marketing Association for your information on this subject.

  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cut away any bruised or damaged areas on fruits and vegetables since harmful bacteria can thrive in these areas.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly under fresh, cool, running water, even if you plan to peel them.
  • Use a clean produce brush to scrub items that have firm surfaces (e.g., oranges, melons, potatoes, carrots, etc.). It is not necessary to use produce cleansers to wash fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Ready-to-eat, bagged, pre-washed leafy greens do not need to be washed again before eating.
  • Pre-cut or pre-washed leafy greens sold in open bags or containers should be washed before eating.
  • Use one cutting board for produce, and a separate one for raw meat, poultry, fish and seafood.
  • Sanitize countertops, cutting boards and utensils before and after preparing food. Use a kitchen sanitizer (following the directions on the container) or a bleach solution (5 ml household bleach to 750 ml of water), and rinse with water.

For more information please visit:

Measures to Ensure Drug Supply - Alberta Health

March 21, 2020

Alberta Health has implemented the following measures to proactively protect the drug supply for Albertans.

Effective immediately the expectation is that prescriptions are provided in quantities that do not exceed a thirty (30) day supply. Reducing the quantity provided for each prescription will limit product shortages and allow continued access to medications for all Albertans. We are working closely with Alberta Health in all aspects of best managing the Covid-19 situation and as such, will be supporting this expectation in our pharmacies.  

We thank you in advance for your co-operation and would like to take this time to remind you that our prescribing pharmacists can prescribe for minor ailments and refill prescriptions for chronic conditions over the telephone.  We have always offered free delivery of prescriptions and continue to do so for your convenience and your safety at this time.  

Unfounded Rumours About Our Shawnessy Location

March 21, 2020

We are seeing a number of comments on social media with respect to suspected cases of Covid-19 and speculation about who and where these people may have been in the community. One includes a rumour about several area grocery stores including our Calgary Co-op in Shawnessy. We want you to know this rumour is unfounded and is not based on fact.

We are in close contact with Alberta Health Services and will work under their direction should we have confirmation of a case of Covid-19 in store. If we should ever be in a situation where there is any type of known health or safety risk to our members or team members, we will be transparent and take immediate action to protect our community and we will communicate this directly to the public. We understand the fear and uncertainty during these unprecedented times, but we ask that if you have questions or concerns, please reach out to us directly. We are taking our lead from public health agencies with respect to all cleaning, sanitizing and safety procedures in our stores and want to reassure you we are doing everything possible to provide a safe and healthy environment for our members and team members.

Quantity Limits on High Demand Items Now in Place

March 21, 2020

In order to ensure that each of our valued members has access to the goods they need in a timely fashion we have made the decision to put quantity limits on high demand items. We appreciate your co-operation and understanding.

Self-Serve Items Now Pre-Packaged

March 21, 2020

In the interest of health & safety, our self-serve options will no longer be available in our food stores and gas station convenience stores. We will provide these items pre-packaged where possible and encourage you to ask one of our staff members if there is something you would like that you are unable to find. We will do our best to accommodate your requests.

Temporary Change to Store Hours Starting March 23

March 20, 2020

To Our Valued Members,

Calgary Co-op continues to proactively and positively work through the Coronavirus (Covid-19) situation, focused on our responsibility to our great city and the communities that count on us every day. We are making some changes to our operating hours in order to better support our members and team members. These changes will allow for adequate time for our team members to re-stock our shelves, while continuing to place a higher emphasis on social distancing in our stores and help stop the spread of Covid-19. The change in hours will also allow for a better ability to clean and sanitize our stores.

Beginning Monday March 23, 2020, our store hours will be as follows:

Food stores: 8:00am - 8:00pm

Pharmacies: 8:00am - 6:00pm (Monday-Friday) and 10:00am - 6:00pm (Saturday and Sunday)

Wine Spirits Beer: 10:00am - 8:00pm

Gas Stations: Closing at 9:00pm

Cannabis Stores: 10:00am - 8:00pm

Home Health Care: 9:00am - 5:00pm

We have also made the decision to close down our Wine Spirits Beer stores at Sage Hill and Crowchild Corner effective Thursday March 19, 2020, and our World of Whisky and World of Wine stores effective Friday March 20, 2020. These closures support the safety of our team members and offer our team the ability to assist other lines of business.

We will continue to focus our efforts on supporting our members and team members through these challenging times. Your safety and that of our team members and community is our top priority. We remain committed to being a good neighbour and community member and to ensuring all of our stores are a safe and healthy place for you to shop. For the latest information on what we are doing in relation to Covid-19, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and continue to check back here on our website.

Sincerely,
Ken Keelor, CEO

Store Hours for Seniors & People with Disabilities and Co-op Care Packages

March 18, 2020

To Our Valued Members,

As the situation involving Covid-19 continues to impact our community, I am reaching out to you again regarding the efforts we are making in our stores to continue providing you with a safe and healthy place to shop.

On Friday we announced our free delivery of a Calgary Co-op Care Package to those quarantined, as directed by a public health agency, to support our community in challenging times. We were overwhelmed with requests for these packages. We were also thrilled with the messages we received from Calgarians expressing support and appreciation, which brought joy and reassurance to our team members as they work around the clock to stock shelves, serve customers and fill these orders. As you can appreciate, this is a very busy time for them so on behalf of our 3,850 team members, thank you!

Here’s how you can help us - as we work to fill Calgary Co-op Care package requests as quickly as possible, we ask that only those ordered to be quarantined by a public health agency place a request for these packages and that you limit your request to one package per household. That way we can ensure there is enough product for affected households. When you submit a request, include in the subject line: Calgary Co-op Care Package. Also include your full name, phone number, address, postal code, and the location of your closest Calgary Co-op store. We appreciate your patience, and we are pleased to continue offering this service until April 15th, while supplies last.

With respect to our Food stores, we know it can be concerning to see some empty shelves and longer than usual line-ups at our checkouts. Let me reassure you we have supply of all products coming in, and our team is dedicated to getting your most important items back on our shelves as quickly as we can. Let me also reassure you that we are managing our retail prices with great diligence, and you will not see us use this timeframe or pandemic as a reason to raise our prices.

We have been listening carefully to you as always, and what we have heard you say is:

a)     You would like special shopping hours for those who need them most.

b)     You have questions about self-serve options.

c)     You want to ensure there is enough product for everyone.

So here are the immediate changes we are making to better serve you in our Food stores through these difficult times:

  1. Effective Monday March 23,we will devote 8:00 am to 9:00 am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday especially to seniors and people living with disabilities, so that they have an opportunity to shop in a freshly sanitized, fully stocked store. We will not shut our doors to others during these timeframes, however we ask all other community members to please shop outside of those hours if at all possible, so that those most in need of support are able to fulfil their needs. Furthermore, our Pharmacies will open an hour earlier to support this.
  2. Due to the unusually high demand for items like paper products, sanitizing and cleaning agents, and select food items, we will place some limits on the quantities available for purchase. This is genuinely aimed at allowing all of our members access to these goods in a timely fashion. We appreciate your co-operation and understanding.
  3. In the interest of health & safety, our self-serve salad bar, olive bar, wings/fried chicken bar, curry and soup bars, open seafood cases, bulk bakery cases, self serve coffee and self serve kombucha stations will no longer be available. We will provide these items pre-packaged where possible. This will also apply to any open food items in our gas bars.

We continue our strong focus on sanitation measures throughout all our stores including sanitizing cashier stations, self-checkouts, conveyor belts, food service counters, product shelves, touch-screens, baskets and shopping cart handles. We continue to make hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes available at our tills, and throughout our Food stores. We are still offering full-service at many of our gas bar locations to meet your needs.

We continue to ensure our team members have the information they need to stay healthy and encourage any team members or members who feel unwell to stay home, to help them get well soon and keep others around them healthy.

These are just a few updated on key measures we are taking to help keep you and your family healthy and safe. This is an evolving situation, so we ask that you regularly check out our website www.calgarycoop.com and social media platforms, where we will continue to post updates as they become available.

I want to take a moment to personally thank you for your words of encouragement to our team members, and for being kind and considerate to each other in our stores. Our community is known for coming together when times are tough, and we are seeing this community spirit each day in so many ways.

In the words of a member who contacted us recently, “Situations like these show us where our humanity lies, and it's only in pulling together and taking care of each other that we make it through.” Let’s keep pulling together and taking care of each other in the spirit of true co-operation, and we will get through this, together.

Sincerely,
Ken Keelor
CEO

 

Notice of Calgary Co-op AGM Postponement

March 17, 2020

See details

Store Cleaning & Sanitizing and Co-op Care Packages

March 16, 2020

To Our Valued Members;

As the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) continues to have an increased impact in our community, I feel it is important to connect with you directly about the preventative steps we are taking across all of our lines of business to help keep you, your family and our community safe. As a valued member of Calgary Co-op your safety has always been, and continues to be, our number one priority. As a co-operative and member of the community, we are also taking steps to help those directly impacted by the virus and are under quarantine. 


Here are the steps we are taking to protect our members and team members:

Emergency Planning Team:
Early on in the worldwide discovery of this virus, Calgary Co-op activated its Emergency Planning Team, with representation across all of our lines of business. From the onset of the virus, this team has been in close consultation with public health officials including Alberta Health Services (AHS) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to ensure we aware of and aligned with their guidance and recommendations.

In our Stores:
In addition to the strict cleaning and sanitizing guidelines already in place at our stores and workplaces, we are also taking additional measures to ensure the safety of our members and team members.

These include:

  • Increasing our focus on sanitizing commonly used areas including cashier stations, self-checkouts, conveyor belts, food service counters, product shelves and touch-screens.
  • Increasing supplies of antimicrobial hand sanitizer for placement in locations where access to water may not be readily available.
  • Wiping down shopping carts and baskets with disinfectant.
  • Sanitizing restrooms and community rooms more frequently.
  • Working with our janitorial providers to include additional deep cleaning in higher traffic areas.
  • Discontinuing unattended food sampling in our stores to ensure member safety.
  • Working with our suppliers to restock high-needs items including paper and cleaning products.
  • Following the recommendation of all major public health agencies including AHS and PHAC to encourage all members and team members to regularly wash their hands using water and soap which is readily available at all of our stores.
  • Ensuring our team members have the information they need to stay healthy and encouraging any team members who feel unwell to stay home.
  • Reminding our members that all Calgary Co-op Pharmacies offer free delivery on prescriptions.

Our business decisions are formed by guidance from AHS and the PHAC. Should new recommendations be shared by public health experts, we will re-evaluate our procedures as required and will continue to communicate any changes with you, our members.

Our Community: Calgary Co-op Care Package Offering
In light of the increased cases of Covid-19 in our community and to help those impacted, we are also taking the additional step of offering a Calgary Co-op Care Package containing food essentials, free of charge, to anyone required to be quarantined as directed by a public health agency. These Calgary Co-op Care Packages will contain non-perishable food items such as canned meat, pasta sauce, and juice. They will be delivered to those affected in the Calgary-area. These care packages will be available until April 15th. To request a care package, please contact memberengagement@calgarycoop.com with your name, address, phone number, the start and end date of your quarantine, as instructed by a public health agency, as well as your closest Calgary Co-op store. This offer will extend as long as inventory permits.

Your safety and that of our team members and community is very important to us. If you have any questions or concerns, please speak with any of our Store Managers. You are also welcome to contact us directly at 403-219-6064 or memberengagement@calgarycoop.com

I hope this gives you confidence in the actions we are taking in all of our lines of business. We remain committed to being a good neighbour and community member and to ensuring all of our stores are a safe and healthy place for you to shop.

Sincerely,
Ken