Grocery store owner supplying employees with face shields, masks amid COVID-19

WARMINSTER TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The owner of a ShopRite grocery store in Warminster is ramping up health and safety measures for employees during the coronavirus outbreak.

Customers are still greeted with a smile at the store on Street Road, but this time by an employee wearing a face shield while offering sanitizing wipes for shopping carts.

"You can't force anybody to wear these. We encourage it really strongly, plus the face masks, we're wearing as well," said store owner Joe Cowhey.

Cowhey says he's stepping up measures to help keep employees and customers safe during this cornavirus outbreak.

"It's certainly a different look, and one that's necessary," he added. "Every register has plexiglass on there to prevent the customer from being straight on with the cashier."

"It's a very different time and it's new for everybody," he said.

Cowhey has owned the ShopRite for several years and said he hasn't encountered a crisis like this one.

"Never in my life. I've dealt with Sandy, I've dealt with situations where a rain storm knocked down power lines where we've been out of business for a period of time, but nothing that's ever affected us like this."

This pandemic has changed the way people maneuver around grocery stores with social distancing in mind.

The additional struggles that come with this new way of living has also hit some people hard in the area.

"Mr. Cowhey has made sure our police department is stocked with wipes and hand sanitizer and soap," said Mark Mckee, Warminster Township Supervisor.

"Our township employees, unfortunately we had to lay a few off due to this crisis and Mr. Cowhey has stepped up to make sure they're fed," he added.

All they can do now is try to be as prepared as possible while echoing the message seen on signs in the store, "We will get through this together."

"We are going to get through this," said Cowhey.

He also said he'll consider additional safety options in the future.
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