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Grocery store and health care workers persist through pandemic

Looking back on COVID-19: both industries kept their doors open for the community while the virus was on the rise.
Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 6:11 PM CST
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - In a world that began changing drastically by the second, a few industries shifted slightly, but overall remained the same.

Grocery store and health care workers persisted through the outbreak of the virus, perhaps they have gotten busier.

“We did the best that we possibly could and I think our team did a great job doing it,” Jai Freeman, owner of Shur-Valu Foods, said.

These workers stayed on the clock during this entire pandemic. Keeping their doors open with essential resources for the community and caring for their patients.

“Our team are really, they’re the true heroes in all this,” Freeman said. “They got up, they came to work every day, they did their jobs even when everybody else was on lockdown. I mean no one really called out and it was a great thing they did for the community.”

Shur-Valu Foods not only kept their employees working, but provided even more jobs.

“We also brought some people on board to clean door handles and buggies,” Freeman said. “I mean we took every precaution that we possibly could.”

Dothan Pediatric Clinic, along with other health care facilities, kept their doors open during the state’s lockdown.

“If we shut our doors it would have been a definite hardship for the children of the Wiregrass,” Dr. Jeff Tamburin, physician and medical director at Dothan Pediatric Clinic, said.

Keeping their mission of caring for patients at the forefront.

“We did check-ups just like normal,” Dr. Tamburin said. “We gave kids their health maintenance exam, their vaccinations just like normal.”

With some adjustments to ensure patients are safe while visiting the clinic.

“We adjusted some clinic scheduling, so we saw our well patients during a certain part of the day and then brought in people with respiratory symptoms at a different part of the day to try to keep the wells and the sick’s a part, and that worked well and we are still doing that today,” Dr. Tamburin said.

Pushing through challenges the virus brought throughout the entire year.

“It was very difficult to get gowns, gloves, N95 masks,” Dr. Tamburin said. “That’s gotten better but in the beginning that was a huge challenge.”

Fighting against COVID one year later and both industries remain consistent.

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