Wawa is showing its appreciation for first responders on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. Starting Thursday all Wawa stores “will be providing health care workers and first responders with free coffee to fuel their shifts during this crisis” to honor their service to the community.

Particularly during this unprecedented time, we want to say “we’re here for you.” We want to salute the many health care heroes who are doing great work throughout our communities. From Main Line Health to CHOP to Penn Medicine to Jefferson in Philadelphia. From Orlando Health to Winter Haven in Florida. From Virtua Health System to Bay Shore Medical in New Jersey. From Johns Hopkins to MedStar in Maryland and Virginia and Christiana Health in Delaware. These are just some of our partners who are also truly amazing health care systems now on the front lines of this crisis. You have our deepest thanks and gratitude.

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Wawa also announced Thursday new safety measures for employees and customers. This includes “visual floor markers to support maintaining a healthy distance and with distancing aids, in the form of clear, plastic shields, at our check-out counters.” Those are in addition to the “enhanced cleaning and sanitation protocols” previously implemented as in-store precautions.

As of six days ago, Wawa customers were no longer permitted to pour and prepare their own coffee as well as other beverages as the convenience store company adjusted its policies to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Other changes which went into effect Friday included the temporary suspension all self-service fountain beverages, Icee drinks, cappuccino and iced coffee. In addition, employees now are individually bagging all bakery products for customers.

Another new policy is the closure of all stores from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. every night to clean and restock.

(NJ Advance Media’s Chris Sheldon contributed to this report.)

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