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A pharmacy is an essential service, and when members of the public visit Mint Health + Drugs at Crystal Ridge in Strathmore, they feel welcomed and in good hands.

Staff at Mint Health and Drugs say their customers have been very positive and understanding over this difficult period of isolation.

“We find that many customers are calling in their prescription orders ahead of time. This has been very helpful for the pharmacy as we have more control over our flow and efficiency. We see that many customers are following the protocols set out and recognizing the changes we've made so it is great that we can build that relationship together and support each other,” says Lisa Cathcart, Pharmacy Manager.

Mint Health and Drugs have adapted during the pandemic, and are keeping up with public health guidelines, while serving clients to their fullest capacity.

“We have learned to be very flexible and adaptable at a moment's notice. We have observed that the pandemic has placed additional strain on Alberta’s drug supply.” Alberta Health and the Alberta College of Pharmacy have recommended that pharmacists limit dispensing of medications to a maximum supply of 30 days at a time. In doing so,by working together with your pharmacy team, you can help protect Alberta’s drug supply and prevent drug shortages.”

"Back in March we did adapt to dispensing 30 days supply at a time however, going forward we will be able to return to the usual 100-day limit."

"Having said that, there are still a number of drugs that remain in short supply and those items will continue to be dispensed on a 30-day basis."

In an aim to keep all of their customers safe, at the beginning of the pandemic, they understood social distancing was important, therefore, the business made a social distancing barrier to protect the customers as well as staff.

It’s located in front of the drop-off area where patients leave their medications.

“It does the job and has become quite the conversation piece since the barrier we created is from Christmas garland, you learn to be creative and adapt quickly to the situation at hand. In addition, we have plastic sneeze guards up at our till where payment occurs and stock hand sanitizer at drop off and pick up. As part of the Alberta health guidelines, we clean high touch surfaces often.”

Staff understand the importance of wearing a mask and the store has a good supply of Personal Protective Equipment. In addition, they also deliver and complete curbside pick up, which provides a safe method to transport medications for many senior clients who feel this is a safer alternative.

“Our store has appropriate signage on the front door asking patients to self identify if they are sick, or to self isolate if they have been travelling.”

The store is quite large, but if it gets busy staff limit the number of people in the store.

“Although there is less foot traffic we still work to engage with our customers over the phone and in-person - while maintaining social distance.”

In terms of how the business community in Strathmore can work well with one another during this pandemic, they say, “We are all in this together, and we can keep each other safe if we all respect the rules and advisories the government is outlining for us.”

“This is a great opportunity to connect with your customer on a personal level, to help them navigate through these challenging times of fear and uncertainty to help instill trust with us and our business. This is a great time to work together as a community and support local businesses.”

Mint Health + Drugs is open to support the community from Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The store provides a good supply of masks and hand-sanitizer as well as "touchless gadgets" that are great for opening doors, tapping elevator buttons and pin pads so customers don't have to physically touch surfaces.

“If you have any questions, we can be a valuable resource for you to guide you and assist you in what you can do during these challenging times.”