Goodwill stores begin reopening in DC region

Some Goodwill locations will reopen in the D.C. area, with social distancing and safety measures in place. (Courtesy Goodwill)

Goodwill retail stores in the D.C. area are in the process of reopening as coronavirus pandemic-related restrictions loosen around the region.

A phased reopening of 20 area stores began earlier this week in Virginia in Sterling, Centreville, Manassas and Dale City. More stores are scheduled to reopen Monday, June 15 and Monday, June 22. Those locations will be announced online.

“Goodwill put into place several safety and health protocols, including deep cleaning of all of our stores first and foremost,” said Brendan Hurley, of Goodwill of Greater Washington and The Goodwill Excel Center.

“We put up sneeze guards at all of our cash registers, social distancing markers and signage throughout the store. All of our customers and our associates are required to wear masks,” Hurley said.

Dressing rooms and bathrooms will remain closed, and face masks will be required to enter the store.

Workers posted at storefront doors will be checking for masks required of everyone over 10 years old and will be keeping count as people enter to allow room for appropriate social distancing. Social distancing markers also are in place outside where waiting shoppers would line up.

“Goodwill is thrilled that we’re able to reopen our stores and generate the critical funding that’s needed to continue to support our much needed job training programs and services,” Hurley said.

Shifting from in-person assistance to virtual career center workshops, Goodwill offers a variety of free programs on topics such as critical thinking skills, resume writing and how to prepare for a job interview.

“We’re starting to move into more industry-specific programming, like health care and security. Some of the programs that we offered previously in face-to-face classes, we’re now looking at evolving into online programs,” Hurley said.

When stores were closed because of pandemic restrictions, Goodwill trucks that would have typically been moving items between donation centers, warehouses and retail stores were put to use moving food.

The Goodwill fleet helped increase the Capital Area Food Bank’s capacity to serve food to people in critical need at its local distribution centers.

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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