The next time you want to quickly pop out to the pharmacy, make sure to check your watch, because a recently announced change by CVS could leave you staring at a "CLOSED" sign when you try to pick up your prescription.

The New Change

Starting today, and affecting many local CVS pharmacies here in the Hudson Valley, many residents were surprised to wake up to an email from the retailer notifying them of a new policy. "FYI, I just received an email announcing this", said one local Facebook user, with a flurry of comments from people both complimenting and complaining about the change. The message reads:

To make sure all of our pharmacists have time to take a lunch break, your local CVS Pharmacy will be closed daily from 1:30 to 2:00 PM. By taking care of themselves, our pharmacists will be able to provide you with even better support and service. During that time, all activity at the pharmacy will be unavailable, including pickup, drop-off and the drive-thru. Of course, we're always open at, and in the CVS Pharmacy app. Thank you for helping us take care of our pharmacists, and thank you for choosing CVS!


The Reason

The closings appear to be for daily paid break for pharmacists. "About time they got a lunch break", said one local resident. "They’re doing it in Kingston too….I can’t believe they’ve been going without a lunch break!" said another. Others expressed frustration. "Agree to a lunch break but the whole department [doesn't] need to close" commented one user. That seems like a rational suggestion, but according to CVS employees, there's a very specific and important reason why the entire pharmacy needs to fully shut down.


Necessary Closures

Every pharmacy has at least one licensed pharmacist on duty. While other employees work under them and can interact with customers and help fill prescriptions, the pharmacist must also be actively working, according to several employees. Said one CVS worker:

Up until now the pharmacist on duty has [received] no break and they work 12-hour days. I think it's great and much needed.

Replied one unwavering commenter, "I would be happy to work that shift, I hate taking breaks, I'm just not smart enough to be a pharmacist".

Small Price to Pay

The overwhelming consensus is positive from Hudson Valley residents, with the vast majority applauding the step CVS has taken to better care for their employees. Just keep in mind: from 1:30pm-2:00pm, you'll have to find a different errand to run.

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