Smith's Food and Drug store in Casper is going out of its way to make sure that some of the most vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus, those age 60 and older, will be able to get the supplies they need amid panic buying that has left many grocery store shelves empty in Wyoming and across the country.

The store on CY Avenue will open to seniors only from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It's the best time for seniors to shop, too, since the store will be restocked each evening prior, according to Assistant Store Manger April Nelson.

In a phone interview Tuesday, Nelson told K2 Radio News that Smith's will also waive the fee for grocery pickup orders placed online by seniors age 60 and up. The fees will continue to be waived until April 18.

Smith's will continue to operate as normal from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., though those hours are temporary amid the pandemic.

Seniors and those with underlying health issues such compromised immune systems are among the most likely to experience severe health impacts should they get sick with the novel coronavirus.

Of the 10 cases reported in Wyoming thus far, eight of them are connected to a Lander retirement center.

Panic buying has set in over the past week as Wyomingites prepare for possible extended stays at home.

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