Rite Aid (RAD 20.00%) is responding to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic by expanding its workforce and raising employees' wages.

In a press release issued Monday, the pharmacy chain said that, effective immediately, it is planning to hire 5,000 new associates for full- and part-time jobs at its stores and distribution centers. All the new positions are listed on the company's website.

Worker using a tablet computer in a pharmacy.

Image source: Getty Images.

Also, the company said it's raising the pay of hourly workers in its stores, distribution centers, and RediClinic outlets. The "Hero Pay" increase of $2 per hour took effect March 15 and will last until at least May 2. Managers in those facilities, plus RediClinic "professional associates" have also been paid a "Hero Bonus" of $1,000 apiece.

Finally, the company temporarily increased its employee discount to 35%, dating from March 24 to at least the end of April.

Also, Rite Aid has launched a telemedicine service called RediClinic@Home that allows patients to consult remotely with the clinicians staffing it. At the moment, the service is limited to customers in Delaware, Texas, and Pennsylvania. The company says that most health insurance plans are accepted; if a customer's plan is not, the charge is $49 per visit. 

"Rite Aid is on the front lines in helping Americans cope with the COVID-19 pandemic," the company said in the press release. "We are working around the clock to ensure we are doing our part to provide Rite Aid's associates, customers, and communities with what they need during these unprecedented times."

On Tuesday, when most of the benchmark indexes fell by fractions of a percent, Rite Aid shares closed down 1.6%.