Signs of change as community adapts to crisis

Time to read
3 minutes
Read so far

Signs of change as community adapts to crisis

Thu, 03/19/2020 - 02:42
Posted in:
In-page image(s)

Local volunteers offer errand services for those in need

Canadian Rotary Club members and the Hemphill County Hospital District have organized a chain of volunteers who are available to help sick, disabled, or elderly residents, or anyone who is at high risk of their health being compromised by exposure to the public. Volunteers are offering to assist those residents by picking up groceries or prescriptions, or running errands. If you or someone you know is in need of this service, please call either Rotary Club President Shane Harris at 580.273.5310, or call HCH Chief Clinical Officer Debra Sappenfield at 806.323.1122. If there is no answer, leave a message with your name and telephone number. A volunteer will respond, and will make arrangements for those services to be provided.

Cattle Exchange, Stumblin’ Goat offer curbside and delivery services

Milton Cooke calls it reinventing the wheel. Already aware of the downturn in the local economy, Cooke was alarmed when he realized the impact COVID-19 might have—not only on his business, but on his employees’ jobs, if business got any worse. So he figured out a way to make it better. As the owner of not just one, but two local restaurants, Cook decided it was time to implement a curbside and home-delivery service that would allow customers to stay at home and still enjoy dining out.

Cooke had already implemented new safety protocols at both the Cattle Exchange and Stumblin’ Goat, stocking up on hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes, and replacing things like salt and pepper shakers and other condiments on the table with single-use containers. “We started taking temps of all employees before they clock in, too, modeling what they do at the hospital,” he said.

Wondering what else he could change, that’s when Cooke decided to offer customers another option. “On Tuesday, we pulled the trigger and started offering delivery and curbside pickup.”

The new services come with some restrictions. The hours are limited to 11 am to 2 pm and 5-8 pm, and there is a $30 minimum for home delivery or curbside pickup orders. Otherwise, customers can order anything they want on the menu, just by calling 806.323.6755.

With the dip in business already evident, Cooke said, he has had to start cutting his employees’ schedules. “The coronavirus protocol has been in effect for about week, and we could just see our dining-in sales going down,” he said. “We hope we’ll pick up enough business that we can call those people back in.”

Dollar General offers priority shopping hour to senior and at-risk citizens

Canadian’s Dollar General has adjusted its store hours in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and is opening at 8 am each morning to offer priority shopping during the first hour to senior citizens and those at-risk. The Canadian location will begin closing one hour early, at 9 pm, so that employees have additional time to sanitize the store. The new hours took effect on Tuesday, March 17. Dollar General has also enacted limitations on the purchase of some products, and will limit the amount of paper products, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes to three per customer.

Medic Pharmacy to provide home delivery in Canadian and Miami

Canadian Medic Pharmacy is now offering delivery to customers in Canadian and Miami. In addition to providing a drive-thru window, it will also offer curbside pickup. If you are sick or exhibiting any symptoms of illness, please call the pharmacy at 806.323.6171, and arrangements will be made to delivery your medicine to you. Medic Pharmacy is open from 9 am-6 pm Monday through Friday, and 9 am-noon on Saturdays. “We value and appreciate our customers,” said Canadian Medic employee Karen Lay, “and will do all we can to see our great community through this trying and unprecedented time.”

New drive-up window at Alexander’s Grocery & Deli provides safety and service

As government officials advise food establishments to encourage and practice social distancing, the owners of Alexander’s Grocery and Deli reminded customers that they have a drive-up window for to-go orders, and will be happy to deliver orders to the vehicle. To order ahead, call 806.323.8853. They concluded their message with this note: “We appreciate your business, and are thankful that we have each other to lean on in this crazy time. Stay safe and wash your hands! #COVID19 #supportyoursmallbusinesses”

Xcel Energy: We will not disconnect service

In a statement issued Tuesday morning, Xcel Energy acknowledged the challenges COVID-19 will present to communities and families, and announced that it would not disconnect residential customers’ electric service until further notice. The decision was intended to ensure that people have the energy they need to power their homes and keep their families safe. In addition, the company agreed to work with customers who have difficulty paying their electric bill, to arrange payment plans that meet their circumstances. “We want to assure our customers that as part of our commitment to the communities we serve, we’re here to support them during this difficult time,” said Brett Carter, executive vice president, and chief customer and innovation officer. “The energy grid is essential to the nation’s critical infrastructure, and we’re taking a well-planned, heightened approach to all threats, including COVID-19. We will work with our customers, our communities, and government leaders to ensure the lights and heat stay on and that those we serve are cared for and protected.” Xcel also promised that robust staffing and operational plans were in place to ensure that power-plant operators, line workers, customer care representatives, and others are delivering reliable electric and natural-gas service in the eight states it serves, while responding to outages if necessary.