Disinfect and Sanitize: Whole Foods Confirms Employees Have Tested Positive for COVID-19

Whole Foods officials confirmed this week that employees at the Charlestown store have tested positive for COVID-19 and the store is taking measures to help those workers recover and to disinfect the store.

A spokesperson for the store confirmed on Wednesday that individuals in the Charlestown store have tested positive for the virus. Because of privacy and medical laws, they cannot share any details about the employees or their areas of work. They said the safety of the employees and customer has been a top priority.

“The safety of our Team Members and customers is our top priority and we are diligently following all guidance from local health  and food safety  authorities,” said a spokesperson for Whole Foods. “Out of an abundance of caution, the store has performed a professional deep cleaning and disinfection, on top of our current enhanced sanitation measures.”

There have been rumors and talk around the Town for a few weeks about concerns over the Whole Foods and its workers. Some have said they noticed a good many workers who are regularly there, but haven’t been around for some time. Additionally, some have noticed that the staffing seems short, particularly at the registers where the usual five or six stations has been replaced with only two open registers.

The store said as they prioritize the health and safety of customers and Team Members, they will continue to do the following to help contain the spread of COVID-19:  

•Stores are operating under social distancing and crowd control measures. We have installed plexiglass barriers at check out and are requiring temperature checks and face masks for anyone working in our stores and facilities.

•We have implemented enhanced daily cleanliness and disinfection protocols across all stores and facilities, on top of our standard stringent protocols.  

•We are closing stores up to two hours early to give our Team Members more time to restock shelves, sanitize our stores, and rest in preparation for the next day.”

Grocery store workers are considered essential employees and expected to continue coming to work. They are very vulnerable to contracting the disease as they continue to work closely with the public and many also are dependent on riding public transit to get to their jobs. Two grocery store workers in Massachusetts  – all from outside of Boston – have died of COVID-19 as a result of contracting it at work.

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