Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Giant Eagle officials announced Monday that they will enforce the number of guests who are able to shop inside their stores at one time.

Each location will admit up to 50 percent of the occupancy that is allowed by fire code, including store employees, and will shift to using every other register lane when possible. The new maximum occupancy will be visibly posted near the building’s entrance.

Additionally, the company will assign employees to monitor guest social distancing and provide guidance to guests when necessary.

"The safety and well-being of our team members and guests is and will continue to be our top priority," said Jannah Jablonowski, Giant Eagle spokesperson. "As supermarkets, convenience stores and pharmacies remain in operation as essential community resources, we believe it’s vital to heighten our social distancing and sanitization procedures throughout the store."

Giant Eagle plans to implement all outlined activities across its stores in the coming days.

Giant Eagle officials said they have implemented all CDC guidance as well as numerous operational changes intended "to create a healthy shopping and working environment," stated a company news release.

These best practices include:

• Encouraging employees to frequently wash their hands and to use hand sanitizer between transactions;

• Providing employees with personal protective equipment including masks and gloves;

• Enhancing frequency of in-store sanitization efforts of all commonly shared surfaces;

• Installing protective plexiglass and social distancing floor indicators;

• Taking steps to significantly increase capacity for curbside pickup and delivery orders;

• Reserving shopping hours for vulnerable members of the community; and

• Discontinuing all self-service food stations (salad bar, olive bar, etc.) and product sampling

Giant Eagle is asking its guests to join in the effort by:

• Considering the use of a store’s curbside pickup and delivery service whenever possible;

• Sending only one member of their household to shop for their family;

• Considering wearing masks and gloves while shopping in the store;

• Respecting appropriate 6-feet-or-more social distance from other guests in the store, and following all in-

store social distance directional signage;

• Considering the use of self-checkout and Scan Pay & Go options;

• Using credit or debit as payment method when possible to limit contact with cashier; and

• Refraining from visiting the store if they are feeling ill.

"We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as we work together to keep ourselves and our neighbors safe and fed," Jablonowski added.