The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) will reduce operating hours at all of its stores statewide beginning Friday, March 27, due to the expanding nature of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Like the reduced store hours already in place for 24 Virginia ABC retail outlets in the cities of Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson and Williamsburg, and the counties of James City and York, ABC’s remaining 364 stores across the commonwealth will be open from noon to 7 p.m., seven days a week, starting Friday, March 27.
Reducing the time the stores will be open to customers allows staff time to stock shelves, as well as clean and thoroughly disinfect store surfaces to protect employees and customers. Additionally, the limited operating hours enable more flexibility in staffing.
“Given the expanding nature of the coronavirus to other areas of the commonwealth, after consulting with the Virginia Department of Health, we believe these adjustments to our business practices will reinforce measures already in place to keep everyone safe and mitigate the impact of this virus on our employees and customers,” said Virginia ABC Chief Executive Officer Travis Hill.
Customers can practice social distancing and reduce time spent in stores by placing their order online at www.abc.virginia.gov.
“Virginia ABC is committed to serving individual customers and licensed businesses by keeping its retail stores open for as long as we can safely do so. Please limit your store visits to purchase distilled spirits, when possible, and help us keep you, our store staff and others safe and healthy,” Hill added.
On March 19, in an abundance of caution, ABC closed store 182, located at 1217 West Broad Street in downtown Richmond, after the roommate of an employee tested positive for COVID-19. Both remain at home in quarantine. The store will be closed for an expected two weeks. During that time, the store will undergo a thorough deep cleaning and sanitization. The remaining employees at this store have been asked to self-quarantine for two weeks. To date, no ABC employees have tested positive for COVID-19.
ABC continues to monitor information coming from the Centers for Disease Control, the Virginia Department of Health and Governor Northam’s office regarding COVID-19. Future decisions related to ABC store operations will be made with guidance from these official sources and implemented on a case-by-case basis.V