Goodwill stores opening in parts of Virginia; plans underway in others

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RICHMOND, Va. (WHSV) — Some Goodwill stores around Virginia are starting to reopen this week, while others are making plans for the weeks and months ahead.

According to the Board of Directors of Goodwill Industries of Central and Coastal Virginia, they began a phased approach to reopening their retail stores as of Tuesday, May 19.

As the name of the company suggests, they operate the Goodwill stores and donation centers in central and coastal Virginia. As of May 20, Goodwill Industries of the Valleys, which operates the Shenandoah Valley locations, reports that their stores remain closed until further notice, although donation centers have remained open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Goodwill Industries of the Valleys, they are currently working to put in place all necessary safety precautions, calling back staff, and getting ready to reopen soon – but a date has not yet been set for their reopening.

In the central and coastal regions of the state, though Goodwill says, under the advisement of Governor Northam, stores are opening in phases over the coming weeks with limited hours from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

“At Goodwill, we have continued to look to the recommendations of the local and national government in addition to the CDC amid this unprecedented time to ensure we did our part to flatten the curve and keep our community safe,” Goodwill CEO Mark Barth said. “With the Governor’s decision to allow operations such as ours to reopen, we look forward to welcoming back our associates, donors and shoppers and will be taking every precaution to ensure the safety and sanitation of our donated goods and those visiting our stores.”

To keep customers safe, the Goodwill stores that will be opening in central and coastal Virginia will have the following protocols in place:

• All required and preferred safety items are stocked and in place at each location.
• All staff is properly trained on safety policies and will implement safe social distancing measures.
• We encourage all associates, shoppers and donors who are feeling ill to stay home from work and self-isolate.
• All staff will wear a face covering and vinyl gloves while in the workplace.
• We encourage all shoppers and donors to wear a face covering and use “touchless” payments whenever possible to reduce contact.
• We have installed plexiglass shields at the registers, added floor markings to indicate a six-foot separation and will provide hand sanitizer at the front of each store for customer use.
• Dressing rooms will be closed.
• All common surfaces will be disinfected before opening and every two hours thereafter.
• Individuals visiting a Goodwill location to make a donation of used goods must either place their donations in provided bins or remain in their vehicle while a Goodwill associate assists.
• To allow for a safe social distance, only 10 shoppers will be allowed inside the store at one time. A parent with a couple of small children will be considered one customer. An elderly shopper with a caregiver, will be considered one customer, as they will be moving through the store together.
• Donations are being quarantined for at least 72 hours.
• All upholstered furniture and bedding (pillows, stuffed animals, etc) are being treated per Virginia Department of Health guidelines.

Goodwill is accepting donations on a daily basis at their open locations. According to the website for Goodwill Industries of the Valleys, their donation centers remain open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

You can find the closest Goodwill location to you here.

They say those donations will help them remain ready to provide free workforce development services.

"During the COVID-19 pandemic, as our retail stores remained closed, the principle source of revenue to fund our mission-driven services has halted," Goodwill said in a statement. "At the same time, the demand for our services will be greater than ever before."

You can give to Goodwill online at goodwillvalleys.com/donatetogoodwill/.

You can also shop Goodwill online at shopgoodwill.com/.

Goodwill Industries of the Valleys offers a range of virtual services here.

Goodwill stores are categorized as non-essential retail, which is allowed to open up in Phase 1 of Virginia's reopening plans, with limited capacity and measures in place, including social distancing and increased sanitation.