Coronavirus: Oshawa, Ont., grocery store employee tests positive for COVID-19

The parent company of Real Canadian Superstore has confirmed an employee has tested positive for COVID-19, marking the first publicly confirmed case for the corporation since the coronavirus
outbreak began.

Galen Weston, the executive chairman of Loblaw Companies Limited, issued a statement to PC Optimum members Monday night. He said the employee who tested positive works at the Real Canadian Superstore location on Gibb Street in Oshawa, Ont.

“As you’d expect, we are staying close to the situation and to his family,” Weston said in the statement.

“At this time, health authorities continue to assure us that the risk of grocery shopping is low, but we must all take care.

“We’re counting on you to help by giving our colleagues and each other lots of space.”

Weston said the company is taking several steps in response to the diagnosis. He said the business is working with public health officials as they investigate to determine the employee’s recent contacts, adding any fellow employees who need to self-isolate will be paid in full.

In addition to regular store cleaning, Weston said the store will close for a deep clean in consultation with public health staff.

Loblaw announced in recent days it was instituting several precautionary measures related to COVID-19. Among the social distancing-related changes were dedicating the first hour of the shopping day for seniors, reducing store hours, trying to limit the number of customers, adding distance-based place markers and suspending sampling programs.

As of Monday morning, the Ontario government said there were 489 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. Six Ontario residents have died and eight cases have been resolved.

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