Truck stops take steps to prevent spread of coronavirus

March 16, 2020

Mark Schremmer

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The three major truck stop chains are all taking steps toward preventing the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.

Reports of confirmed cases continue to climb in the United States. According to Newsweek as of the afternoon of March 16, the total cases in the United States had reached nearly 3,800, including 69 deaths. Worldwide, there have been about 169,000 cases and 6,500 deaths.

Federal and state proclamations regarding the coronavirus continue to be issued daily.

TA & Petro, Pilot Flying J, and Love’s truck stops have also issued statements on what they are doing to limit the spread of the virus.

TA & Petro

Beginning Monday, March 16, TA & Petro stores temporarily suspended buffets, soup and salad bar offerings.

“We are closely following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization updates, guidelines and recommendations,” TA & Petro wrote in a statement. “We have and will continue to implement all appropriate and necessary guidance.”

While its buffets and soup and salad bar offerings will be suspended, the truck stop chain said its restaurants will remain open as state and local governments allow. Grab-and-go options will be available at all sites.

“We strongly believe this action is essential for your safety and the safety of all our team members, and we are extremely grateful for your understanding during this time,” according to the TA statement.

The truck stop chain said it also is taking extra precautions and measures with strict cleaning protocols.

TA & Petro’s website is updating restaurant regulations by state. As of the afternoon on March 16, dine-in areas were closed in Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island and Washington.

Love’s

In addition to cleaning protocols, Love’s said it has removed self-serve condiment stations and are offering pre-packaged condiments. Customers also are asked to use a new disposable Love’s cup to get a drink or refill. Love’s said customers can fill their personal cup or mug with a disposable Love’s cup and My Love Rewards members can still use a refill credit with a new cup.

“In response to COVID-19, Love’s developed a task force that’s focused on monitoring the situation and providing education, guidance and resources to our store employees,” a Love’s spokeswoman said. “The health and safety of our customers and team members is vitally important to us and because of this, we’ve put protocols in place so that we can maintain regular business when possible and keep our customers safe.”

Love’s provided additional info regarding the coronavirus to its website on Monday night.

Pilot Flying J

Pilot Flying J is informing its customers that all of its stores, including its fuel islands, showers and restrooms, are open.

“We developed a response task force back in February to monitor COVID-19 and have been meeting daily to monitor and update our plans to best respond to the rapidly changing situation,” Pilot wrote in an email to its customers.

Among the updates from Pilot are that the chain is closing self-serve food, gaming rooms are restricted to three participants at a time, a fresh cup policy has been implemented on all refills, and team members who are showing any symptoms of illness are required to stay home.

Pilot also has continued cleaning protocols for showers, restrooms, dining areas, and driver lounges.

Land Line Staff Writer Wendy Parker contributed to this report.

 

Mark Schremmer

Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and nearly two decades of journalism experience to our staff.