Huntsville pharmacists worry after one of their own contracts coronavirus

Pharmacy First in Southwest Huntsville said closing down would be the absolute last resort.

Posted: Mar 18, 2020 8:09 PM

Some pharmacies are taking another look at how to keep employees safe after an employee at a pharmacy on Redstone Arsenal tested positive for coronavirus.

Pharmacy technicians at Pharmacy First in Southwest Huntsville told WAAY 31 they're feeling a little uneasy and a little stressed as the number of cases grows. They know it's essential for their business to stay open, but also know the risk of getting exposed.

"I mean it's obviously kind of scary when you work in a pharmacy and people coming in sick all the time," Sam Wheeler, a pharmacy technician, said.

Wheeler said when he heard a pharmacy employee on the Arsenal contracted the Coronavirus, he felt a little uneasy. As a pharmacy technician, he and his co-workers come across many sick customers daily. Now they're figuring out the best way to keep everybody safe.

"I think we're a little nervous but we're more stressed than anything because you know we want to make sure we take care of everyone," Susan Guffey, a pharmacy technician, said.

So far the pharmacy has explored a few options to do that. That includes closing the inside of the store - so customers can only go through the drive thru. They've also discussed only allowing a certain number of customers in at a time, so there are only 10 people or fewer inside at one time. But, both could hurt business.

"If we do have to close the inside down, I mean we're a small business and that could really hurt us in the long run. we might not be able to recover from that," Wheeler said.

"We're going to have a congestion here on this road right here," Guffey said.

Guffey said another issue they're facing is people worrying they have to stockpile on their medications

"We're getting daily calls you know can i get my medicine filled like three - and we've even had a lady ask for six months out," she said.

But, Pharmacy First said closing down would be the absolute last resort.

"People depend on us for their medications, and it's not like these people are just going to stop needing their blood pressure meds and things like that, so if any place closes down we would probably be one of the last ones to," Wheeler said.

Pharmacy first told me right now they're waiting on guidelines from the Alabama Pharmacy Association before they decide on what to do next.

They said right now the only way they will be closing down is in the event an employee does contract the virus then everyone would be tested and they'd temporarily shut down.

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