SAFELY SHOPPING — Olvin and Monica Guzman packed away all of their groceries as some of the first shoppers of Safeway’s reserved 7-9 a.m. hours for the elderly and pregnant women and disabled people.

SUNNYSIDE — Safeway has reserved store hours for at risk shoppers (senior citizens, pregnant women, or those with compromised immune systems) for Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Friday, March 19 was the first of these special shopping hours for local Safeway branch. They’ve also announced taking extra measures such as increasing closing hours for deep cleaning.

Safeway has also encouraged customers to practice social distancing by being two carts away from others. The grocery store is also implementing the use of plexiglass partitions in checkout lanes to serve as a barrier between cashiers and customers for added peace of mind.

The parking lot was packed with vehicles and the lines were steady with older, pregnant, and immuno-compromised customers.

One such customer was autoimmune-compromised Olvin Guzman, 31.

Guzman, a local barber, has been staying at home since Saturday, March 14 after Gov. Jay Inslee made the school closure decree.

Being a barber, Guzman has also had to discontinue his services due to the closures of certain small businesses.

“I have a compromised immune system so when I went to my doctor, he said I should stay home even after the two weeks are up,” Guzman imparted.

He and his wife, Monica, were in high spirits for the first reserved shopping hours.

“We’re relaxed but taking it seriously,” he shares. “We’ll have to see what will happen when the two weeks are up.”

Elizabeth Sustaita can be contacted at 509-837-4500, ext. 114 or email

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