As part of the effort to protect those most vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19, local supermarkets and grocery stores are designating special hours for senior citizens and people with disabilities or underlying medical conditions to get their groceries.

Starting Thursday, all Stop & Shop locations will have reserved time for people “age 60 and over as well as customers who may have weakened immune systems” from 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. daily, the company said in a statement.

Stop & Shop officials said that if the hours were only enacted for certain days of the week, “this could result in large crowds, the very situation we are looking to prevent as it will make it more difficult for customers to practice social distancing.”


Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, Market Basket locations will be open from 5:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. for customers ages 60 and over, according to a statement from the company.

Shaw’s and Star Market will reserve time for “senior citizens and other at-risk populations, such as pregnant women or those with compromised immune systems” from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday, according to a statement from the parent company, Albertsons Companies. The reserved hours will apply unless otherwise locally mandated.

Starting Friday, all Roche Bros. stores will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. specifically for “elderly and disabled” customers, Customer Service Manager Stephen Kozlowski said.

Matt Berg can be reached at matthew.berg@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mattberg33.