Pacific Region Puts Safety of Customers First Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
With more than 10,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in South Korea and more than 9,000 in Japan, Warfighters stationed in the Pacific are taking every measure to protect themselves and their families—and the Exchange has their six.
“With off-base travel becoming increasingly limited in certain areas of the Pacific, it’s never been clearer that the Exchange is mission critical,” said Pacific Region Senior Vice President Karin Duncan. “We are taking every possible step to protect shoppers and associates from the spread of this virus—that’s what ‘family serving family’ is all about.”
Efforts to stem the spread of the virus and ensure continued service to military shoppers in the Pacific Region include:
- Maintaining regular contact with local command groups to ensure rapid response to emerging community needs
- Regularly disinfecting points of sale, payment keypads, door handles, phones, keyboards, light switches, and shopping carts and baskets
- Requiring restaurant delivery drivers to wear personal protective equipment (gloves and/or masks) and regularly sanitize delivery vehicles
- Removing all cosmetics and fragrance testers from sales floors
- Restricting use of customer interaction points such as keyboards and electronic touch screens, as well as PowerZone displays including home entertainment systems, headphones and gaming systems
- Temporarily closing fitting rooms
- Spot-checking mall concessions and cab operator vehicles for cleanliness and sanitation
Additional measures have been put in place throughout Korea as conditions change. All food activities at the Camp Humphreys, Osan Air Base and Korea Southern Exchanges are currently offering take-out or delivery only.
At the Korea Southern Exchange—located in Daegu, the country’s most heavily affected city—service members are posted at the door to check shoppers’ temperatures upon entry.
While movement into Daegu is currently restricted, Exchange distribution and courier operations continue uninterrupted, allowing the Exchange to maintain its support for Warfighters and their families in the country’s pandemic epicenter.
“The Korea Exchange teams are doing everything they can to protect the force through a strong abundance of caution,” said Scott Bonner, Regional Vice President for Korea. “Each general manager is nested within their installation’s command team to ensure the Exchange remains open and safe for our customers and associates as we navigate these challenges together.”
Across the region, general managers are working with their respective command groups to ensure communities are practicing physical distancing during the pandemic. To keep such efforts top-of-mind among Warfighters and their families, Exchanges are deploying signage encouraging shoppers to keep their distance from one another.
“It’s incredible to see the efforts our associates have made to protect the health and safety of their communities during the pandemic,” said Larry Salgado, Regional Vice President for Okinawa. “Amid all the uncertainty of this moment, our associates have proven that military families can rely on their Exchange family to have their best interest and safety at heart.”