Sundance and Coronavirus

Dear Friends,

During the coronavirus pandemic, Sundance is taking many precautions to ensure the safety of our staff and customers. We are monitoring what other natural foods around the country are doing, reading the recommendations of the CDC and adapting this information to Sundance’s situation. These are the measures we are currently taking:

We are currently maintaining our regular hours of 7am-11pm.

We are reserving the hour from 7am-8am every day for senior and immunocompromised customers.

“If you belong in that group of people who are 65 or older, or immune-compromised, then it is best to get someone else to shop for you if you can,”*

Those in this group who are unable to have others shop for them, are encouraged to shop remotely. The instructions for doing so are on our remote shopping page.

If you are in this group and want to shop yourself we suggest that you do so from Monday – Friday between 7am and 8 am, when we are asking that only those in this group shop.

Upon entering the store, we ask that customers use the hand sanitizer available at the end of each counter.

Everyone in the store needs to maintain a physical distance of 6 feet from other people.

Our front-end staff sanitize their hands and work space between serving each customer.

On a regular basis, our staff sanitizes all surfaces that customers commonly touch:

The list includes: shopping carts and baskets, cooler and freezer handles, door handles, sinks and faucets, bulk bin covers and handles, fishbowl tops, bulk oil dispenser handles, kombucha and maple syrup faucets, bulk butters lids and scoops, nut butter grinders, bathroom fixtures, sinks, brooms and dustpans, cash register counters, card readers and pin pads.

We routinely rotate our scoops and tongs and run the used ones through our Hobart sanitizer.

Our staff monitors their health, and anyone who experiences any symptoms stays home.

We are paying attention to how many people are shopping in our store at any given time.

Sundance customers have been wisely shopping during our less busy hours, and doing their best to keep a physical distance. Sundance was very busy during the first two weeks of March, as customers prepared to “Stay home, stay safe”. Our sales have since leveled off considerably and while we don’t currently perceive a need to limit the number of shoppers in the store at any given time, we are asking everyone to maintain a physical distance of 6 feet.

We recommend that anyone who is concerned about optimizing social distancing shop between 9am and 11am or 9pm and 11pm when Sundance usually has fewer customers.

While on March 23 the CDC wrote: “Currently, there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food,” we have temporarily suspended our fresh and prepared salad bar, hot bar and hot soup offerings. For the time being, we are pre-packaging these items and they continue to be available cold in our salad bar.

We are also pre-packaging bulk items eaten without being cooked to eliminate any possibility of COVID contamination of food. (Although the CDC says that there is little or no risk of being infected by eating the virus.) Bulk foods that get cooked carry no risk.

The CDC is not recommending that shoppers wear gloves. Sundance is not asking staff to wear gloves. “Gloves don’t really protect you because . . . it sticks to the gloves the same way it sticks to your hands. It’s not different.”* Furthermore, wearing gloves doesn’t allow people to sanitize their hands, and have been known to give people a false sense of safety.

We are currently not asking our staff use masks. They are in very short supply and needed by health care workers.

Health officials tell us that staying home, physical distancing when out in public and employing good sanitation habits are the best ways to prevent the spread of the disease.
The best advice for shoppers: Wash or sanitize your hands before you shop and immediately after you shop, do not touch your face, and try to stay at least six feet away from other shoppers and store employees.

* Bettina Fries, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Stony Brook University in New York.