COVID-19 Update: How Home Depot Is Preparing and Responding
March 18, 2020 – As the situation around the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to develop, our paramount concern has been for the health and safety of our customers and associates.
Several weeks ago, The Home Depot established a task force led by our Medical Health Management team to plan for the potential impacts of COVID-19. While this is not an exhaustive list, here are some of the precautions we’re taking across our business.
We’re temporarily adjusting store hours to better serve customers and communities in response to COVID-19. Beginning Thursday, March 19, our stores will now close daily at 6 p.m., while opening hours will remain unchanged.
As an essential retailer to the communities we serve, we’re committed to keeping stores open just as we always do during times of crisis and natural disaster. Homeowners and businesses depend on us for urgent needs such as hot water heaters, refrigerators, cleaning supplies, electrical and plumbing repairs, and harsh weather items like tarps, propane and batteries.
The adjusted hours will give stores the ability to staff appropriately and provide additional time to restock shelves and perform cleaning. As part of our normal practice, our stores and other facilities are cleaned and sanitized daily. Following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we’re increasing the frequency of cleaning and general hygiene maintenance in stores and other locations. We’re also stepping up our efforts to disinfect high-traffic and high-touch areas like self-checkout, door handles, and bathrooms, as well as posting signage about handwashing and other preventative actions.
We’re expanding our paid time off policy to address the needs of hourly associates to help alleviate some of the challenges they may be facing as a result of COVID-19. Starting this week, all hourly full-time associates will receive an additional 80 hours of paid sick or personal time, and part-time hourly associates will receive an additional 40 hours of paid sick or personal time. These hours can be taken anytime from now until the end of the year.
If associates are diagnosed with COVID-19 or advised by health or government officials to self-quarantine due to direct COVID-19 exposure, they’ll continue to be paid during that time. And as always, we’re encouraging associates who are sick to stay home.
The Home Depot provides a number of benefits to support our associates during this time, including backup dependent care, teledoc services, and emotional wellbeing/care solutions. We’ve also updated our travel policies for associates, following the U.S. Department of State and CDC’s guidance on international and domestic travel.
As many items across our store are in high demand, our merchants and supply chain teams are prioritizing replenishment and restocking as quickly as possible.
We’re seeing an increased demand for face masks, hand sanitizers and other cleaning supplies in our stores and online. To best serve as many customers as possible, we’ve implemented a purchase limit of 10 face masks per person.
We have temporarily postponed or cancelled several large external and internal gatherings that would have been held in our stores, office locations and off-site venues. For example, we have temporarily paused our in-store Workshops, which are often attended by well over 100 people at a time.
Deliveries & In-Home Service:
If customers have an installation or other in-home service scheduled and want to postpone to a later date, we’ll be happy to reschedule. We’ve advised all delivery and Home Services associates to follow everyday preventive actions including washing hands often, disinfecting frequently touched objects, and carrying hand sanitizer.
If you have questions about a delivery, online order or other customer concern, please visit our Help and Customer Service Center.
SOURCE: Home Depot