Starting Tuesday, Dollar General Corp. is asking customers to save their shopping for after the first hour of a store’s daily opening, so this time can be dedicated to senior patrons.

Along with people who have chronic conditions such as lung disease, heart disease and diabetes, seniors appear to be at higher risk of serious illness from an infection with the novel coronavirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“... We appreciate our customers’ understanding of our decision and request they visit our stores later in the morning to allow at-risk populations the ability to purchase the items they need at affordable prices,” CEO Todd Vasos said in a news release.

The release says stores are continuing to open at their regular times, but they will close an hour earlier. This shift allows employees to clean and re-stock, “as well as for their health and wellbeing,” according to Dollar General.

Headquartered in Tennessee, Dollar General operates more than 16,200 stores, according to the news release. Locally, there are locations in Bennington, Charlestown, Jaffrey, Peterborough, Swanzey, Troy, Walpole and Brattleboro.