Sunday, June 13

Covid Cases Raise Concern at Local Trader Joes; Company Brings in Special Cleaning Crew –

Posted on November 30, 2020 at 9:21 pm by West Sider

Covid cases among employees at the Trader Joe’s on 93rd Street and Columbus Avenue have raised concerns among the staff, according to a report in Gothamist. Trader Joe’s confirmed to West Side Rag that there have been cases at the store but added that the company believes that Covid is not spreading at the store.

The Gothamist piece detailed concerns among employees at multiple New York City locations about the company’s practices in regards to Covid-19, including claims that social distancing and mask-wearing is not adequately enforced among customers and that “the stores are no longer adequately cleaned.” The company responded to Gothamist by saying “we have prioritized creating a safe working and shopping environment every day, developing and implementing procedures that meet and exceed recommendations from the CDC and health officials.”

At the 93rd store in particular, an employee told Gothamist that multiple staff members had come down with the virus.

One Upper West Side employee said that at least four of their coworkers have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last two weeks.

“It clearly has been circulating within the crew,” said the employee, who asked to withhold their name for fear of reprisal. “If I were in charge, the only morally defensible option would be to shut down the store, get everyone get rapid tested and only let people back who get negative tests.”

Asked whether the claims were accurate and whether the company had considered closing that store (as occurred previously after positive cases), a Trader Joe’s spokesperson sent the following statement to West Side Rag:

While we have had some cases at our Upper West Side Store, the positive case rate at this location is below the average rate of positive cases in this community. In each case, all Crew Members in the store were notified of the positive case. Any crew member who had close contact with the person who tested positive was identified, directed to quarantine, and encouraged to get tested. All of those tests came back negative, affirming our belief that the spread is not taking place inside the store. However, out of an abundance of caution, we have had an outside cleaning crew brought in to thoroughly clean the store. These cleanings are in addition to hourly cleanings of high touch point areas in the store.

Staff members at that store had responded appreciatively to Upper West Siders when they clapped for essential workers earlier in the pandemic.

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