GARWOOD, NJ — The ShopRite supermarket chain, which has 140 stores in New Jersey, said on Facebook Wednesday night that one of their "associates" tested positive for coronavirus. In the post, which got more than 100 responses, they said the employee is no longer "in the workplace" and that colleagues have to self-quarantine for 14 days.
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The post reads:
In a followup, they wrote, "We appreciate everyone's concern. We are obligated to comply with all privacy laws and therefore, we cannot release the name of the associate, which department they work in, or other personal information. We can tell you that we remain in contact with our associate to offer our support through their recovery process. Any associate who has a confirmed case of COVID-19 cannot return to work until they have been cleared by their healthcare provider."
A customer responded, "We are all pulling for the patient's speedy recovery and the rest of your staff. Thank you all for working tirelessly, you are on the front lines too."
The chain's main webpage for coronavirus says:
- We have stepped up our rigorous protocols and remain vigilant about regular cleaning and sanitizing of food contact surfaces as well as cleaning restrooms and public areas with a special focus on checkout stations and conveyor belts, credit card keypads and other surfaces regularly handled by customers.
- Our Associates are trained to follow proper hand washing practices and we advise associates who feel ill to remain home.
The store also has limited products that are in high demand to two per customer.
Residents who have questions about the virus can call 211 or contact the State of New Jersey's hotline at 1 (800) 222-1222.
Experts say that the novel coronavirus, because it's new, is more lethal and much harder to treat than the flu.
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that include the common cold as well as much more serious diseases. The strain that emerged in China in late 2019, now called COVID-19, is related to others that have caused serious outbreaks in recent years, including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the U.S. was on Jan. 21.
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