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Starbucks, Best Buy, Gap, and other stores are reopening, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe to shop

The openings come against the recommendations of most public health experts.

Starbucks, Best Buy, Gap, and other stores are reopening, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe to shop
[Photo: Neora Aylon/Unsplash]
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Stores are reopening across America as states ease their closure orders, but that does not mean it’s safe to shop. The openings come against the recommendations of most public health experts, and leaked recordings of recent FEMA and HHS meetings reveal that government officials predict high death tolls as economies reopen, Politico reports. Here are the stores opening their doors:

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  • Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic. The stores will be “responsibly aggressive” in opening 800 locations where regulations allow. Dressing rooms and bathrooms will be closed, and optional masks provided.
  • Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Bluemercury. Parent company Macy’s plans to reopen 775 stores in the next five to seven weeks, with closed fitting rooms and quarantined returned products.
  • Malls. Simon Property Group, the largest U.S. mall operator with roughly 200 malls in 37 states, is already opening 49 locations. It will provide masks, wipes, and temperature checks to shoppers at request, with closed play areas and limited food court seating, and maximum occupancy of one person per 50 square feet. (An environmental health studies expert told CNN that that “seems like far too many people. You would have a hard time maintaining your physical distancing with that density.”)
  • Best Buy is continuing curbside pickup, and offering shopping by appointment, with a sales associate who will disinfect products before and after you touch them. All employees will wear masks and gloves, and shoppers will be offered masks. About 200 of its 1,000 stores will reopen.
  • Starbucks. Ninety percent of its stores will be open by the end of June. The chain is pushing curbside pickup and order-by-app, which 20 million customers already use.

You can support stores that are remaining extra cautious by shopping online. Bed Bath & Beyond’s website says that “locations are closed in support of national efforts to slow the virus.” Last week, Target shared a 60-page document of its safety strategy, aiming to help other businesses reopen safely.