To bolster coronavirus safety measures, Lidl plans to install hospital-grade air filtration in all of its U.S. stores by the end of 2020.
Lidl US said Tuesday that it the new air filtration systems are rated MERV 13 or higher — a level typically found in hospitals — to help filter out COVID-19. Previously, Lidl used advanced commercially-rated MERV filtration systems in its U.S. stores, which number more than 100 in nine East Coast states.
Arlington, Va.-based Lidl US noted that it’s among the first national grocery retailers to install hospital-grade air filtration systems in its entire store network.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have worked diligently to protect the health of everyone in our stores by meeting or exceeding CDC guidelines, and this measure to create cleaner, healthier air is no different,” Lidl US CEO Johannes Fieber said in a statement. “Customers and team members in Lidl stores can breathe easier knowing we have an added layer of protection against COVID-19.”
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, epidemiologists and professional associations have recommended using high-efficiency air filters rated MERV 13 or higher wherever technically feasible to trap small airborne particles that can transmit the virus, according to Lidl. MERV-13 and higher filtration — traditionally found in hospital, general surgery and superior commercial building environments — is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help thwart the transmission of COVID-19 in general commercial settings, Lidl said.
“As the scientific understanding of COVID-19 continues to evolve, so have the mitigation and safety measures recommended by experts,” Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam stated. “I congratulate Lidl on their plan to implement extensive safety measures for their employees and customers, and for their continued commitment to protecting the health and safety of Virginians.”
Lidl US has stores in Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia. Two new stores are slated to open Oct. 21 in East Northport, N.Y., and Park Ridge, N.J., followed by a third on Oct. 28 in Burke, Va.
“Lidl is continuing to grow its footprint in Maryland, and we are proud that the company is taking these proactive steps to keep their customers safe, and also protect the wellbeing of all of their local employees,” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement. “As we remain vigilant in combating COVID-19 here in Maryland, it is more important than ever for businesses to offer a clean and healthy environment.”