Virginia's ABC stories will begin operating under reduced hours starting Friday due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority announced Tuesday that all of its 388 stores will be open only from noon to 7 p.m. seven days a week. Stores in the cities of Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson and Williamsburg, and the counties of James City and York had already been operating on the reduced schedule.
Reducing the hours of operation will allow staff time to stock shelves, as well as to 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 orders 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, ABC closed its store at 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.
The agency said future decisions related to store operations will be made with guidance from the Virginia Department of Health and other agencies and implemented on a case-by-case basis.