GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — For nearly two weeks now, many Grand Rapids residents have been forced to look elsewhere for the prescriptions they count on as a Walgreens pharmacy remains closed in the northeast side of the city.
The Walgreens pharmacy on Plainfield Avenue NE near 4 Mile Road NE in Grand Rapids has been closed since Sept. 20.
A sign outside the store says their system is down, and they don’t know when it will be back up.
As a result, employees and customers tell News 8 prescriptions are being transferred to a different Walgreens at 425 Fuller Ave. near Michigan Street. An employee there said they have seen a surge in prescriptions, but they’re managing to stay afloat.
But for customers, it’s reportedly been a struggle to get their medication. With the Plainfield Avenue pharmacy closed, multiple customers told News 8 they have spent hours on hold trying to refill their prescriptions. One person called the situation “a disaster.”
Making things worse: It’s not the only Walgreens that’s been closed. An employee confirmed that another pharmacy, on Fuller Avenue and Knapp Avenue, was closed for multiple days last week.
It’s unclear why. That pharmacy returned to normal business hours this week, a worker there said.
The extended issues come as a labor shortage continues in the field. That’s what Walgreens corporate appeared to blame for the closures when News 8 asked which pharmacies are closed and why.
The company said there has been “greater demand for COVID-related services coinciding with staffing challenges.”
“Like many other healthcare entities, retailers and other industries, we’ve expanded our recruitment efforts amidst a pronounced labor shortage, and we’re taking every step possible to help meet current heightened demand for COVID-19 vaccinations, as well as testing and other pharmacy services such as flu shots,” the company told News 8.
News 8 followed up asking why the pharmacy on Fuller Avenue and Knapp Avenue was closed last week. No response has been received as of Sunday night.