Home Depot (HD 1.01%) sells a number of things that are essential to people during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Homeowners and businesses depend on The Home Depot for urgent needs such as hot water heaters, refrigerators, cleaning supplies, electrical and plumbing repairs, and harsh weather items like tarps, propane, and batteries," the company wrote in a press release Wednesday.

Like many retailers, Home Depot has amended its operating hours and sick-leave policies in light of current events, in an effort to ensure the health and safety of its workers and customers.

An aisle in a Home Depot.

Home Depot has adjusted its operating hours. Image source: Home Depot.

What is Home Depot doing?

In order to keep its shelves stocked, Home Depot will close at 6 p.m. beginning on March 19. The hours when stores open will not change.

"The adjusted hours will give stores the ability to staff appropriately and provide additional time to restock shelves and perform cleaning," the company wrote.

Home Depot has also given employees additional paid time off. This is designed to make sure sick workers stay home. The additional paid sick time -- 80 hours for hourly full-time associates and 40 hours for part-time hourly associates -- can be taken anytime from now through the end of the year.

These are smart moves

Home Depot has made the right moves to protect its customers and employees. That's the right thing to do in the short term and will build long-term trust with workers and consumers.