By Billy Queally
CVS plans to reduce hours of operation at nearly 9,000 of its stores because of a national shortage of pharmacists.
The Rockbridge area’s two CVS locations have not yet heard whether their hours will be reduced.
The stores are on East Nelson Street in Lexington and East Midland Trail in Buena Vista.
CVS’s corporate office announced the company will begin adjusting stores’ hours in March.
The Lexington CVS has frequently closed its pharmacy drive–through window for lack of staffing.
“I am one of two pharmacists here,” Mary Scott Willoughby said. “But I am relatively new as I actually only started in December.”
CVS isn’t alone in grappling with shortages of pharmacists. Walgreens and Walmart also recently announced that they are adjusting most of their stores’ pharmacy hours.
Willoughby said the Covid–19 pandemic took a toll on pharmacists.
“A lot of pharmacists will leave or quit because of the pressure and demand of their job,” she said. “It has been more challenging on pharmacists to balance customers’ prescriptions as well as all Covid–related testing and vaccinations.”
Gabriel Stulce, a Washington and Lee University student, said reducing hours will help balance the inflow of customers at certain times.
“There are some times I walk in and out and get a prescription within five minutes,” Stulce said. “Other times, there is one pharmacist and a line of ten people or more, and it takes hours to get something from the pharmacy.”