GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Starting next week, Meijer will add a new safeguard to protect workers and customers from COVID-19.

The Grand Rapids-based retailer, which operates 248 supercenters and grocery stores throughout the Midwest, announced Wednesday, crews will install plexiglass shields -- also knows as "sneeze guards" -- at checkout lanes in all its stores.

This adds to the list of other steps Meijer has taken over the last several weeks to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 and protect its team members and customers.

Here are other steps Meijer has taken to ensure its stores are as safe as possible:

  • Suspended the use of reusable bags by customers in its stores unless they’re being used for the retailer’s Shop & Scan program.
  • Discontinued accepting beverage containers for return at its Michigan stores.
  • Temporarily removed Sandy the Pony from the front end of its stores.
  • Marked X’s on the floor 6 feet apart in areas where customers may congregate, such as lines for check lanes, pharmacy and service desk counters. The retailer is also verbally reminding customers to stand on the X’s when waiting in any lines, and suggesting customers use the length of their shopping carts to gauge appropriate distance from others where there aren’t marked X’s on the floor.

Meijer is a company that is guided by our fundamental values to do what is right for our team members and customers,” Keyes said. “Our No. 1 priority is to provide a safe environment for everyone who walks through our doors while meeting the needs of the communities we serve.”

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Do you have more questions about COVID-19 in Michigan? Check out the state's website.

RELATED: Meijer adjusts store hours and creates dedicated shopping time for senior, vulnerable customers

Meijer has changed it's operating hours to accommodate senior and vulnerable customers, and allow for team members to shop and disinfect the store each night. 

The new store hours are as follows: 

  • Meijer stores will close overnight at 10 p.m. local time, beginning Friday, March 20, and will open each morning at 8 a.m. local time.
  • Meijer Express convenience store locations will close overnight at 10 p.m. and open each morning at 8 a.m.; pay-at-the-pump fuel sales will remain available 24 hours a day.
  • Meijer stores and pharmacies will provide dedicated shopping times for senior citizens and customers with chronic health conditions on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 a.m.-8 a.m. local time.
  • Meijer stores and pharmacies will provide dedicated shopping times for essential service workers and Meijer team members on Mondays and Wednesdays from 7 a.m.-8 a.m. local time.

To date, there are more than 2,200 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Michigan and more than 40 people have died. 

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