Like most business owners throughout Washington state, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced Courtney and William Quinby to alter their approach.
The husband and wife duo own Centralia Pharmacy in Centralia and Tim’s Pharmacy and Gift Shop in Yelm. On Friday, William issued a statement informing both communities that their stores would not only remain open, but would be expanding their services to further assist their customers.
It’s an effort the Quinbys can get inventive with.
“As a community pharmacy, we can be more creative and think outside the box by sourcing supplies not readily available to chain pharmacies and taking the time to work with patients and providers alike to find alternative treatments if necessary,” William Quinby said in the release.
One of the ways in which they’ve focused on furthering their aid is by offering delivery to all of their customers. Delivery was offered in the past, but only to homebound patients and others in “specific situations.”
It was a simple way they could help out.
“Now, being that we want to limit interaction and keep our social distance, that’s an opportunity to offer that (delivery) to more people,” Courtney Quinby said. “With a little different outlook than just homebound patients.”
She added that while the service is open to everybody, there will be some limitations on a “case-by-case basis.”
The price for delivery depends on the patient, their insurance and other factors pertaining to their respective situation. She said the worst-case scenario, though, is a $5 charge for delivery and as long as a customer lives in the Centralia-Chehalis area, they won’t be turned away.
The pharmacy also offers mail and drive-through services, as well.
“In Centralia, people have really gravitated toward our drive-through,” William Quinby said. “It’s really convenient and especially now with folks not wanting to be exposed and increase their risk. They really, really like the drive through.”
The current volume of orders hasn’t yet posed a logistical challenge for Centralia Pharmacy. Courtney said the current staff have been able to fulfill orders on their own and haven’t had to rely on any sort of outside help.
As of now, the expanded service hasn’t led to a spike in customers using delivery. Courtney Quinby said the point, though, is making the option known to the community to help alleviate fears over a potential loss of access to medication.
“I think the fact that people know and we’re letting people know that we can offer that, that helps minimize any kind of fear that they’re not going to get access to medications,” she said.
The delivery service could be ramped up upon demand, the couple said.
Tim’s Pharmacy and Gift Shop in Yelm offers delivery services, but doesn’t offer a drive-through. However, a curbside delivery service has been implemented to help promote social distancing. All a customer needs to do is call the store and inform pharmacy staff which parking spot they’re in.
William Quinby said the entire parking lot at Tim’s has been transitioned into a curbside pick-up area.
“In Yelm, people have loved using the curbside pick-up, we’ve had a lot of really good feedback and response to that,” He said. “People are just happy it’s available.”
He added that curbside pickup is offered by other, bigger companies, such as Wal-Mart, but nowhere has implemented the system the way Tim’s has.
“I highly doubt any of them have ever turned their entire parking lot into a curbside pickup,” William said. “I was kind of just trying to think outside the box on how to do that.”
As pharmacists, Courtney Quinby believes they are called to serve the community however they can.
“It’s just a different kind of time right now, with the outbreak,” she said. “We just need to make sure we’re ready and able. It (delivery) was something we were already doing, we just want to make sure people know we’re here.”
The Centralia Pharmacy is located at 417 S Tower Ave. The phone number is (360) 736-5000