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Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of short features on small businesses responding to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.)
Operating on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak, Cornerstone Pharmacy can’t close or have employees work from home. No matter what, people will still need their medication.
Cornerstone is a chain of 13 independent, locally-owned pharmacies. Though many pharmacies have gone to drive-through only service, that’s not an option for the Cornerstone at 4220 N. Rodney Parham Road, Suite 101, in Little Rock.
“So my store is unique in that we don’t offer, we don’t have, a drive-through,” owner Brittany Marsh told Arkansas Business. “So we’re offering curbside service. And we are offering free delivery, which we have in the Little Rock area anyway, but we’re definitely being a lot more lax” with the size of the delivery zone.
Her pharmacy is also mailing prescriptions to customers who may be out of town because they’re working at home.
Like other businesses, Cornerstone is being cleaned regularly and has sanitizer available for employees and customers to use. It’s also limiting the number of people inside the store to one or two, and it’s checking the temperature of every person who enters the building “so at least we can knock out the top layer of people that we know are symptomatic,” Marsh said.
While the pharmacy has been assured that its medication supplier will not close, it’s nevertheless stocked up on high-demand items. Those items include over-the-counter products, like Tylenol and ibuprofen, and pneumonia shots for older patients, who are being called and encouraged to come in to be vaccinated, she said.
The business is trying to fill 90-day prescriptions for anyone whose insurance will cover them as well, she added.
Awareness of what the store is doing is her biggest concern right now.
“It’s actually the biggest thing for me right now, making extra phone calls to my patients to make sure they know we are in no way closing and that we will have their medications for them,” she said.