Loblaws at Dupont and Christie said to be under-reporting major outbreak of COVID-19
A COVID-19 outbreak has caused a Toronto Loblaws to shut down and reopen two times over the last few weeks but the extent of infections at the store might be a lot more than what's been publicly reported.
@UFCW1006A, what is happening at the Dupont/Christie Loblaws? Management isn't enforcing masking and handwashing by customers and staff keep getting sick.— (((Catherine C))) (@torontocrockett) May 10, 2020
It wasn't the first time the grocery store had closed down for disinfection: a few days before that, on April 29, the store announced that it would be closed for the rest of the evening after one employee tested positive on a presumptive test.
It's unclear how many positive cases there have been so far among staff, but some employees, who asked to be anonymous, say store management has not taken any measures to share the numbers with members of the team, though many are now in self-isolation.
Loblaws has not responded to multiple requests for comment to confirm the number of infected workers at their Dupont and Christie store, or how many staff are now self-isolating.
The store recently provided an update to customers via e-mail and Facebook, saying they are taking "proactive steps" to protect staff and customers, including having employees' temperatures checked before each shift, and wearing masks and gloves during shifts.
The Loblaws store has also temporarily suspended their PC Express Service, and further reduced the number of people allowed in the store, but many are still concerned about whether or not the store should remain open.
An employee at the store told blogTO that the store has had around 20 confirmed cases and that approximately 40 staff are currently in self isolation.
He's worried that management has not handled the outbreak effectively, putting both employees and customers at potential risk. He claims staff have asked management to close the store but their requests have gone unanswered.
He says when an employee tests positive for COVID-19, staff who may have been explosed get a call from a Loblaws nurse but there's no e-mail or written communication.
one COVID question that’s been bothering me is that - if a store has an outbreak - like the Loblaws on DuPont and Christie currently has - and multiple employees are sick - how can keeping the store open and an extra clean overnight change anything at all? why not close and test? pic.twitter.com/MxBp7zNxCa— Andrew Sampson (@andrewsampson_) May 9, 2020
The general protocol for grocery stores where staff have tested positive for the virus is to undergo what is described as a thorough cleaning. In most instances, stores open the following day, but may require a different approach when there are several cases over multiple days.
Brands like Sobeys have implemented a COVID-19 case tracker on their website, removing cases after 21 days of their initial reporting date, but not all grocery chains have adopted the measure.
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