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New restrictions at retail stores to ensure social distancing

A Charlotte NAACP leader snapped photos of workers not wearing protective equipment and customers waiting in tight lines.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Charlotte NAACP leader is alarmed after photos taken inside different Family Dollar locations show workers not wearing protective equipment, customers waiting in tight lines and registers without sneeze guards.

Lucille Puckett, the NAACP's political action chair, said she visited and took photos inside four different Family Dollar locations in Charlotte.

She said workers told her they're worried for their safety.

"Talking to a young lady yesterday, she felt when coronavirus first surfaced here in Charlotte, Family Dollar should have jumped right on it," Puckett said. "They should have been proactive instead of reactive."

Puckett is particularly concerned because all of the stores she visited are in majority-black neighborhoods, and early studies show the coronavirus is taking a disproportionate toll on African Americans.

Puckett's concerns come as Governor Roy Cooper announced new restrictions in North Carolina stores starting Monday at 5 p.m.

He said stores can not have more than 20 percent capacity, workers must mark six feet of distance at checkout lines and stores must perform frequent cleaning and disinfection.

RELATED: NC Governor plans more restrictions as store clerks fear for safety

RELATED: North and South Carolinians asked to stay home, social distance

WCNC Charlotte sent Puckett's account and photos to Dollar Tree, which owns Family Dollar.

Several hours later, a manager emailed, "Our associates are permitted to voluntarily wear gloves and cloth face coverings, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Company is providing gloves, non-medical masks and cloth face coverings for associates as supplies become available. We are also in the process of installing register plexiglass shields to our 15,000+ Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores across North America.

The stores have implemented proactive cleaning protocols as recommended by the CDC, which include wiping down common areas and surfaces, such as door handles, shopping carts and baskets, keypads and register counters, along with regular daily cleaning procedures. Additionally, we are closing our stores at 8:00 p.m. local time or earlier in order to keep our associates safe, provide adequate time to exercise the Company’s proactive cleaning protocols as recommended by the CDC, and replenish store shelves with essential products."


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