Costco Wholesale Club is starting a twice-weekly senior shopping hour amid the coronavirus pandemic.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 to 9 a.m., beginning this week, Costco “will temporarily implement special operating hours for members who are 60 and older," the retailer said in a Facebook post.

Store pharmacies also will be open earlier but food courts will maintain normal hours, according to the Facebook post. The hours apply to all stores except for the company's Business Center locations.

Costco said on its Facebook page that only members meeting the criteria "will be allowed to enter the warehouse and guests will not be admitted."

Acknowledging that older adults and persons with underlying health conditions are more susceptible to COVID-19, a growing number of stores have been dedicating time or opening earlier for senior shoppers and other at-risk groups.

Because of panic shopping, which has left store shelves empty in many places across the country, at-risk groups including seniors have had difficulty getting supplies.

Walmart's first hour-long senior shopping event is Tuesday and scheduled to be held every Tuesday through April 28 for customers 60 and older. The designated hour will start one hour before the retailer's 5,000-plus U.S. stores open, which can vary by location. Most stores' regular hours are from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko