Germany-based grocery store operator Lidl said Tuesday that it plans to install upgraded air filtration systems in its U.S. stores to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Lidl has six grocery stores in the Richmond region, 28 across Virginia and more than 110 stores in nine East Coast states. The company established its U.S. headquarters in Arlington County in June 2015.
Lidl said its decision follows recent guidance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread through particles in the air. The new air filtration systems will be rated MERV 13 or higher, the company said. Those types of filters are typically found in hospitals and help remove infectious aerosols.
“We are going to install them in all of our U.S. stores by the end of the year,” said Will Harwood, a spokesman for Lidl U.S. “I believe we are among the first grocers that will have this filtration in all of our stores.”
The company has about 11,200 stores in 32 countries, employing more than 310,000 employees globally.