Following recently issued CDC guidelines stating that the COVID-19 virus can be spread through the air, Lidl US announced today it will install new air filtration systems rated MERV 13 or higher in all of its U.S. stores by the end of this year. Air filters rated MERV 13 or higher, which are typically found in hospitals, help filter out COVID-19, according to public health and industry leaders.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have worked diligently to protect the health of everyone in our stores by meeting or exceeding CDC guidelines and this measure to create cleaner, healthier air is no different,” said Johannes Fieber, CEO of Lidl US, in a release. “Customers and team members in Lidl stores can breathe easier knowing we have an added layer of protection against COVID-19.”
Lidl US is among the first national grocery retailers to install hospital-grade air filtration systems across its entire store network, says the grocer. Previously, Lidl stores used advanced commercially rated MERV filtration systems. Epidemiologists and professional associations have recommended using high-efficiency air filters MERV 13 or higher wherever technically feasible to trap small airborne particles that can transmit the virus.
The move to upgrade its ventilation system nationwide has won the praise of local government from Virginia to Maryland.
“Since Lidl established its U.S. headquarters in Virginia in 2015, they have been recognized as a company that cares about its employees and workplace safety,” said Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, in a statement. “As the scientific understanding of COVID-19 continues to evolve, so have the mitigation and safety measures recommended by experts. I congratulate Lidl on their plan to implement extensive safety measures for their employees and customers, and for their continued commitment to protecting the health and safety of Virginians.”
“Lidl is continuing to grow its footprint in Maryland and we are proud that the company is taking these proactive steps to keep their customers safe, and also protect the wellbeing of all of their local employees,” said Maryland Governor Larry Hogan in a statement. “As we remain vigilant in combating COVID-19 here in Maryland, it is more important than ever for businesses to offer a clean and healthy environment.”