The H-E-B on Trimmier Road in Killeen has began 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.
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 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.
One Cove customer said the measures were in place Saturday morning after the store opened, and the line of customers to get in wrapped around the building.
Thompson said the stores that are participating are typically the ones that get the most crowded.
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.