Gift and Thrift reopening May 26 with new decontamination procedures

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- Some Virginia businesses are beginning to reopen and thrift shops are having to change some procedures to ensure donated items are decontaminated before making their way to the sales floor.

At Gift and Thrift in Harrisonburg, executive director Sue Nelson said all donations will go through a decontamination period in their warehouse for at least 72 hours before being sorted through by staff members.

"Nobody is touching [donations] before they're safe to touch," Nelson said. "We also disinfect furniture. Anything like a sofa or chair that has upholstery on it will get sprayed with a disinfectant, and many items get wiped down before they hit the sales floor, as well."

She said through pandemic closures they have scheduled days for no contact donation drop-offs at Gift and Thrift where people were responsible for unloading their own donations to reduce contact.

"Every time we open up for donations we get a huge influx of donations," Nelson said. "The last time we opened up a few weeks ago, the line was actually out to the street, so we had six or seven cars constantly in line."

Nelson said over the last few weeks a lot of new merchandise has been collected as many people kept busy cleaning out their homes during the stay at home order.

"A lot of people have been going through their things, so it's been interesting every time we open for donations," Nelson said. "All kinds of cool stuff, you never really know what you'll come across."

Nelson said Gift and Thrift will reopen on Tuesday, May 26 with a 25 person capacity.

"Because of our square footage we're allowed to have more people in the, and we'll have people on the floor keeping an eye on things," Nelson said. "Making sure people aren't clustering around toys or puzzles, or just losing track of where they are."

She asks customers to be patient, wear face masks while shopping, and follow social distancing guidelines to keep staff and other customers safe.