CVS to give brief lunch breaks for pharmacists experiencing pandemic burnout
The pandemic has taken a toll on pharmacists, and CVS is now making change to avoid burnout.
Many of the chain's locations will soon close their pharmacies down for half an hour a day so their workers can have a lunch break.
CVS customer Eileen Saporito says she see how hard pharmacists are working nearly two years into the pandemic, and they deserve a break.
"They're probably more exhausted than they've ever been," Saporito says.
The retail company has been alerting customers about the change with text messages saying, "Starting Feb. 28, the pharmacy department at CVS pharmacy locations in your area may be closed from 1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. daily for lunch."
Chairman of the Pharmacists Society of the State of New York Thomas D'Angelo owns three pharmacies in Nassau County.
He says large chains like CVS are having problems with staffing in part because of the pandemic.
"The pharmacists are busy, they're giving vaccines, they're doing testing in the middle of all this," D'Angelo says.
CVS says the brief closing will ensure pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are at their best, writing, "While we've always had a meal break policy, we've begun rolling out a pre-scheduled, uninterrupted lunch break across our pharmacies. This break gives our pharmacy teams a predictable and consistent daily pause while minimizing disruption to our patients."
Some customers say workers should get a break without having to shut down.
They say the company can alternatively staff and have lunch.
The company has not specifically named the stores that will take on the new schedule but says most locations will be affected.