On Wednesday, April 8, the City of High Point finally announced that something will be open rather than closed.

According to a press release, the High Point Farmers Market will be open on Saturday, April 18 and Saturday, April 25. On those days, the market will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. “to ensure that fresh food is available to the community.”

According to High Point city officials, the NC Department of Agriculture classifies farmers markets in the same category as grocery stores. They are considered an important source of food for people and can operate during the pandemic.

The only vendors at the April markets will be food vendors selling fresh, local produce like strawberries, lettuce, kale and spring vegetables.

Market Manager Lee Gann said this week that, though these are certainly “unique circumstances,” the market goes on.

“We are looking forward to another successful and fun year at the High Point Farmers Market,” Mann said.

According to the press release from the city, the safety of vendors and customers will be of the “utmost importance,” so the city has developed guidelines that must be followed by everyone participating. The city’s guidance on these matters comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service, and the National Farmers Market Coalition.

These special 2020 pandemic guidelines will stay in effect until it’s determined that it’s safe to return to normal. The rules include:

  • Vendors must set up only in every other stall to maintain social distancing.
  • Vendors can’t openly display produce on a table. Instead, they’re encouraged to provide a product list. (Vendors can place “individual representative food items” on the table, but those food items will be disposed of at the end of the day.
  • Vendors are required to wear gloves as well as required to wipe down their table with disinfectant after every transaction.
  • Customers have to enter and leave through designated paths only.
  • Customers have to observe social distancing practices at all times.
  • If necessary, Farmers Market staff will limit the number of customers allowed in the vendor area.
  • Freestanding hand sanitizer stations will be available for public and vendor use.

And, of course, the now world famous advice applies here just like it does everywhere else: “Residents who are feeling unwell are asked to stay home. Residents are also asked to wash their hands frequently, cover their mouth with a tissue or the crease of the elbow if they cough or sneeze and avoid touching their faces.”