Local H-E-B stores are implementing crowd control measures by limiting the number of customers in the store at one time to help with social distancing and limit the spread of COVID-19.
Temple’s two stores — the H-E-B at 1314 W. Adams Ave. and the H-E-B at 3002 S. 31st St. — are among the stores participating in the measure.
H-E-B Plus at 2509 N. Main St. in Belton was also limiting the amount of customers allowed in the store. A store employee said 100 people were allowed in the store at one time. Customers are allowed inside in groups of 10.
Chelsea Thompson, spokeswoman for H-E-B for the Central Texas region, said the decision is not company-wide but on a store-by-store basis.
“We did give it as an option to the store managers,” Thompson said via phone Saturday.
At 11:59 p.m. Friday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order went into effect. The executive order limits gatherings to no more than 10 people and closes in-store services for restaurants, bars, food courts, gyms and massage parlors.
“This executive order does not prohibit people from visiting a variety of places, including grocery stores ... so long as the necessary precautions are maintained to reduce the transmission of COVID-19,” the executive order said.
Thompson said the H-E-B on Trimmier Road in Killeen was not the only one implementing the crowd control measures.
“I can tell you that there’s definitely other stores doing it,” she said.
In the Killeen area, as of around noon Saturday, neither the H-E-B stores on Stan Schlueter in Killeen, Harker Heights nor Copperas Cove were implementing the measures.
Also as part of the crowd control, the Trimmier store had one entry point and one exit point Saturday.
To help keep an eye on things, a security guard with Allied Universal Security Services and a Killeen police officer were at the entry point of the store.
Although not limiting customers at the time when observed, the H-E-B in Harker Heights is also not allowing entry in all doors, and there is also a Harker Heights police officer near one entrance to monitor things.
Thompson also said some H-E-B stores have been given stickers to place on the ground in areas such as checkout lanes to provide guidelines for customers to keep social distancing.
Telegram staff writer Shane Monaco and FME News Service contributed to this report.