Earlier this week, Trader Joe’s announced that it will be closing its Chelsea and SoHo locations in New York City after employees who worked there as recently as Tuesday, March 17 tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Seven Trader Joe’s locations have been fully closed as of March 23 for “precautionary cleaning and sanitation” after crew members were found to have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. In the announcement, which can be found on the Trader Joe’s website, the company makes note of the last-known date the infected employees set foot in each store as well as updates for the reopening of each location.
During store closures, Trader Joe’s has said it will continue to pay workers through for their scheduled shifts. However, workers across industries have noted that they don’t get paid if they aren’t on the schedule. Once each store is adequately cleaned, the company intends to re-open them. Of the seven known affected locations, four are in New York, two are in New Jersey, and one is in Maryland.
Earlier this month, Trader Joe’s changed store hours nationwide, opening at 9 a.m. and closing at 7 p.m. It also had a priority line for senior citizens from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and put a cap on the number of customers allowed inside.
While shelter in place orders aim to empty out streets and minimize crowds, grocery stores are essential businesses, which means grocery store employees are among a class of particularly vulnerable workers with the added potential to become points of infection for others. So keep trips to the grocery as infrequent as possible, wash your hands often, and remember that these measures are for your own good and that of others.
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