NYC Druggists Miffed at Walgreens, CVS for Not Protecting Employees During Pandemic


Finger-pointing continues, with some chain store pharmacists complaining that companies like Walgreens and CVS haven’t done as much as they might have to protect the health of their employees.


One New York City pharmacist said in an interview with the New York Post that his chain has failed to give enough instruction on how to cope with the Coronavirus pandemic.


Deep cleaning for stores and hand sanitizer for employees top the list of things this pharmacist says are insufficient safeguards.


“Thousands of people are coming into the store and touching the pin-pads and there is nothing to clean them with,” the pharmacist told the New York Post in an interview. “I don’t understand why doctors and nurses are having their temperatures taken before they go to a hospital, but there are no precautions for us who have to deal with sick people all day long.”


The individual also told the Post, “Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US, I can honestly say that we have received ZERO guidance from the higher-ups and NOTHING has been done to help protect employees or our patients.” Should an employee test positive for the Coronavirus, “they will have to quarantine all of us and there will be no one left to work.”


A spokesperson for Walgreens told the Post that “As the situation evolves, we are actively reviewing our policies, procedures and operations to promote the safety and well being of our team members and customers.”


At the same time, a spokesperson for CVS Health told The Post that the company is “prioritizing” masks “for store and pharmacy employees in markets that have the highest incidences of COVID-19 diagnoses and we continue to work with suppliers to source additional masks in the face of never-before-seen disruptions to the medical supply chain.”


Walgreens has been proactive in protecting its people. As it notes on its web site, “As this situation evolves, the company continues to take further steps to promote the safety and wellbeing of team members and customers.


Recent measures include:


–      Temporary reduction of store operating hours. By operating with reduced hours, Walgreens stores are spending the necessary time, while closed, cleaning, sanitizing and stocking shelves each day. We’re also adjusting our hours to help team members and customers feel comfortable and safe to shop our store during this time.


–      Implementing social distancing guidelines to ensure a safer store experience for team members, customers and patients. All stores now have a “Social Distancing Line,” which begins six feet away from all checkout counters. Lines are clearly marked where customers may wait until the team member instructs them to step to the counter. Six foot increments are also marked to indicate where customers should stand in line to ensure they are keeping appropriate distance from others.


–      Walgreens is also introducing Sanvello, a new, free mobile app for all team members to use during this time of increased stress. Sanvello provides peer support and clinically validated coping tools to reduce stress and anxiety.