Costco will drop COVID-19 senior hours on July 26 after more than 16 months

Costco will drop COVID-19 senior hours on July 26 after more than 16 monthsCostco Wholesale will soon drop its senior hours after holding them for more than 16 months amid the coronavirus pandemic. The retailer said on its COVID-19 updates page that it plans to end the weekday senior hours and resume regular operating hours effective July 26.–167476192/–167476192/–167476192/–167476192/–167476192/–167476192/–167476192/–167476192/–167476192/–167476192/–167476192/–167476192/–167476192/–167476192/–167476192/

“Until July 26, Costco warehouses in the U.S. and Puerto Rico are open for Special Operating Hours from 9 to 10 a.m., Monday through Friday,” Costco said on its website, listing a few locations that have different hours.

Like most of the nation’s major grocery stores, Costco started designating special shopping hours in March 2020 to help those the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considered most vulnerable and at-risk for COVID-19.

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Costco’s hour is for members who are 60 and older, members with disabilities or those who are immunocompromised. The membership club does not allow guests who do not meet its criteria during the designated shopping time.
Costco Wholesale plans to end its special senior hours starting July 26.

Costco started offering senior hours March 24 as a twice-weekly event and quickly extended to three times a week. When clubs resumed normal hours in early May 2020, clubs extended the senior hours to weekday mornings at most locations.

Last summer, Costco originally announced plans to reduce the special hours to twice per week in July 2020 but didn’t cut the hours as cases spiked.

Walmart, Target, BJ’s Wholesale Club and Aldi are among retailers still promoting special senior hours on their websites. Hours and criteria vary by location.

As more Americans are vaccinated, other stores may reduce senior hours. Trader Joe’s cut senior hours at most of its stores.

Costco was one of the first retailers to require customers to wear masks in May 2020 but was one of the first to drop the requirement for fully vaccinated customers as of May 14, a day after the CDC issued new mask guidelines. Clubs started to bring back full sampling in June.

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Costco senior hours and exceptions

Costco’s designated hour for senior shoppers, members with disabilities, or people who are immunocompromised is 9 to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday at most clubs. That’s scheduled to end on July 26.

The following clubs are the exceptions listed on the COVID-19 updates page. Find all locations’ hours at Members and guests who don’t meet the criteria will not be admitted.
California Costco clubs with exceptions

Costco Wholesale Club will now offer three senior shopping hours a week amid the coronavirus pandemic and is allowing “those with physical impairments” to also participate.

After originally starting the special hours March 24 as a twice-weekly event for members 60 and up on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Costco quietly added Wednesdays as the third day.

The retailer edited its March 21 Facebook post announcing the special temporary senior hours Friday to note the change and updated its website Saturday about the special operating hours.

“On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, Costco warehouses will open from 8 to 9 a.m. for members ages 60 and older, and for those with physical impairments,” Costco’s website notes.

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Costco store pharmacies also will be open earlier but food courts will maintain normal hours, according to the website. The hours apply to all stores except for the company’s Business Center locations, which will remain open during regular hours.

In responding to comments on its Facebook page, Costco said only members meeting the criteria “will be allowed to enter the warehouse and guests will not be admitted.”

Starting March 30, Costco is temporarily cutting weekday hours and stores will close at 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and gas stations will close at 7 p.m.

Costco’s website update on Saturday notes other changes such as a limited food court menu and new return restrictions. Warehouses are not accepting returns of toilet paper, bottled water, sanitizing wipes, paper towels, rice and disinfecting spray.

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Acknowledging that older adults and persons with underlying health conditions are more susceptible to COVID-19, a growing number of stores have been dedicating time or opening earlier for senior shoppers and other at-risk groups.

Because of panic shopping, which has left store shelves empty in many places across the country, at-risk groups including seniors have had difficulty getting supplies.
Culver City: Special operating hours are 8 to 9 a.m., Monday through Friday.
Los Angeles area: Los Feliz, Northridge, Pacoima, Van Nuys and Woodland Hills clubs’ special hours are from 9 to 10 a.m., Sunday through Friday, and 8:30 a.m. on Saturdays.
Richmond: Special operating hours are from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., Monday through Friday.

Hawaii Costco club with an exception

Iwilei (Honolulu): Special operating hours are from 8 to 9 a.m., Monday through Friday.

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