To ensure its associates and vendors have a safe working environment during the COVID-19 pandemic, Albertsons Cos. is implementing a new contactless temperature check and health screening solution across all its stores and facilities.
The new technology, provided by Turing Video Inc., leverages a built-in touchless body temperature scanner and a digital COVID-19 health questionnaire. The screening solution can help to avoid potential exposure for health screeners while ensuring effective temperature screening for all associates. Upon successful completion of the temperature screening and validation of the heath questionnaire, visible stickers are printed with “CLEAR” and the associate’s photo, which can be worn by those screened who are not in food production areas. For those in food production positions, the stickers will be logged in the department.
The enhanced process will be implemented across all markets regardless of their COVID-19 risk state.
“The health and safety of associates working in our facilities is a top priority, and the enhanced health screening process provides us with peace of mind while promoting a healthy workplace,” said Susan Morris, COO, Albertsons.
“Turing Video is excited to team up with Albertsons in this partnership,” said Jerry Zhong, co-founder and president of San Mateo, California-based Turing Video. “A quick, easy, contactless and effective health screen is a key to containing the spread of COVID-19, and Albertsons Companies quickly recognized the value in implementing this system.”
Albertsons has been working to ensure the safety of its associates since the beginning of the pandemic. In April, the grocery chain and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), the largest food and retail union in the U.S., launched a joint national effort to seek a temporary designation of “extended first responders” for supermarket employees to ensure that they’re prioritized for testing and given personal protection equipment during the pandemic.
More recently, in response to rising cases of COVID-19 in Colorado and Wyoming, UFCW Local 7 and Albertsons and its Safeway banner teamed up to ask grocery store customers in those states to put on masks. This is in addition to requiring associates to wear face coverings. Other safety measures for the states’ Safeway and Albertsons stores include rigorous cleaning schedules, plexiglass barriers at checkout and a zero-touch checkout experience with contactless pay through consumers’ store apps.
To help with coronavirus testing for consumers, Albertsons is offering its shoppers at-home COVID-19 test kits thanks to a partnership with New York City-based genomics firm Phosphorus. The saliva tests typically return results in 72 hours or less from the time the lab receives the test.
Additionally, once a vaccine is authorized or approved and recommended for use, Albertsons pharmacies will be able to administer free COVID-19 vaccines to the public.
“Throughout this pandemic, our pharmacy teams have been on the front lines, offering care and health solutions for our communities,” said Omer Gajial, SVP of Albertsons Cos. Pharmacy and Health. “When a vaccine is ready, our pharmacists will play a critical role in administering this important public health service.”
Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons operates 2,252 retail stores with 1,725 pharmacies, 398 associated fuel centers, 22 dedicated distribution centers and 20 manufacturing facilities. The company’s stores predominantly operate under the banners Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Carrs, Jewel-Osco, Acme, Shaw’s, Star Market, United Supermarkets, Market Street and Haggen. The company is No. 8 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.