This Pandemic has affected each and every one of us.  Golden Acre remains committed to the safety and well-being of our employees and customers.  Through the guidance of Alberta Health Services (AHS) and Occupational Health and Safety Alberta (OHS), Golden Acre has intensified our cleaning protocols in all departments. Our team recognize that we have a great responsibility to be good role models to each other and those visiting our store. Here are a few measures we are doing to promote health and safety. LIMITED IN-STORE OFFERING During this time, we are limiting our IN-STORE items available for public.  We are focusing on items that support plant health, plants and seeds, animal food and applicable animal goods, and food for human consumption ONLINE STORE We encourage customers to shop from the comfort of their home.  Golden Acre was the first online garden center in Canada and one of the first of its kind in North America.  Our online store has over 4000 items and we are working hard to continually add more each week.  Stay tuned to exciting changes happening UNPRECEDENTED CLEANING PROTOCOLS Our whole team is working towards the common goal of keeping every safe.  We have incorporated strict cleaning protocols for each department.  We are exclusively using Orderly disinfectant (DIN# 02247847) and 9 to 1 ratio of bleach solution for our sanitizing. SOCIAL DISTANCING All employees are trained to maintain at least a 6 feet barrier with others.  We have posted social distancing posters throughout the store to help remind everyone of this vital practice CART AND BASKET CLEANING To enhance our already comprehensive cleaning measures, we are increasing the frequency of cart cleaning throughout the day HAND WASHING STATIONS We have installed a mobile hand washing station at the front of the store.  This is for the use of our customers and employees.  We are looking at additional areas of the store where further units can be installed for everyone’s convenience STAYING HEALTHY Any employee exhibiting symptoms of cough, fever, shortness of breath, runny nose, or sore throat will been asked to self-isolate for least 10 days or until the symptoms resolve, whichever takes longer.  We have communicated clearly to our staff that they must report any symptoms immediately.  Employees have been told that they will, of course, not lose their jobs. We will gladly welcome them back when they are have fully recovered PROTECTIVE SCREENS AND SPACING AT CHECK-OUT We have also installed plexiglass barriers at check-outs and customer service.  We are only using every second check-out to ensure thorough social distancing.  As well lines and “Stand Here” stickers have been strategically placed on the floor at each applicable check out to guide customers on proper social distancing SENIORS AND REDUCED STORE HOURS We are also reserving the first hour of operation to seniors and those with disabilities. We are not increasing our store hours as we do traditionally in spring to 8:00 am-9:00 pm.  Our current store hours are 8:00 am-6:00 pm Monday to Sunday HAND SANITATION Each staff member is equipped with their own hand sanitizer at all times.  Larger bottles have been stationed in each department as well COVID 19 INFORMATION We have systematically posted important COVID-19 posters throughout the store.  These posters are meant to frequently remind our staff and public about proper handwashing methods, containing coughs and sneezing techniques, proper social distancing practices, and symptom alerts SEMINARS Unfortunately, our well received in-store plant health seminars are cancelled for this year.  Instead we will be streaming seminars live for everyone.  We will also post the videos on our website.  We will be posting the times shortly GAKIDSTV To help parents coping with children at home, we host a live kids gardening show every Monday – Friday.  Please see our website for more information COMMUNICATION As far as communicating, our organization has always focused on sharing and communicating opening and frequently with all our team members.  During this time, the communication has been unparalleled.  Our aim is to keep all members of our staff up to date with the measures we are placing to keep everyone safe.