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Local grocery store worker tests positive for COVID-19

(Photo by Chris Jones)

By Courtney Bachar/The Oshawa Express

COVID-19 has made its way into an Oshawa grocery store.

An employee at the Real Canadian Superstore on Gibb Street has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

“One of our colleagues at the Oshawa Gibb St. Superstore has recently tested positive for COVID-19,” reads a statement on the store’s Facebook page. “We understand that you may have questions and want to assure you we take your safety, and the safety of our colleagues, very seriously.”

Ryan Willis, a store manager from another location who is helping out at the Gibb Street store, says the store was notified of the case late on March 21.

According to the Facebook statement, the employee has not been in the store for more than a week.

“At this time, the thoughts of our whole team are with our colleague and his family,” the statement reads.

According to the post, the store has been working with Durham Public Health, who has confirmed the risk to our customers is very low.

“We’re currently open and operating as per the guidelines of public health,” says Willis.

Galen Weston, executive chair for Loblaw Companies Limited, echoes these remarks in a recent video statement.

“Yesterday [March 23], we had our first confirmed case, in a single Real Canadian Superstore on Gibb Street, Oshawa, Ontario,” Weston says. “We’re staying close to the situation and to the colleague’s family. We know you’re relying on us, even as COVID-19 spreads.”

As a response to COVID-19 landing in one of its stores, Weston says several things will happen: the store will investigate the colleague’s shifts and recent contacts, the store will be closed and deep-cleaned, which is above the COVID-19 protocols, and the store will continue to be transparent and make every effort to advise customers who shop there.

The Gibb Street store was closed for a short period in order for a deep-clean to take place.

“We know you’re relying on us, even as COVID-19 spreads,” Weston continues in the statement. “At this time, authorities continue to assure us that the risk of shopping is low. But we’re counting on you to help by giving our colleagues and each other lots of space. Stay safe, and be kind.”