coronavirus

Grocery Store Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19, According to Fiesta Mart

Employees at grocery stores are essential to keeping people fed and running the stores during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Fiesta Mart posted on its website that an employee tested positive for the virus at a Dallas location. A Fiesta Mart in Irving posted on its Facebook page that an employee also tested positive.

Employees at grocery stores are essential to keeping people fed and running the stores during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Because they're interacting with so many people each day, some employees are worried about their health.

"There are hundreds of people that come in and out of grocery stores, pharmacies everywhere and we don’t want to get sick, we don’t want to catch this, we have families too," said Patricia Padilla who said she works at a Fiesta in Irving.

The store posted on its Facebook page a statement stating that an employee recently tested positive for the illness.

Part of the post stated, "We received documentation on April 6, 2020, indicating that an employee at our store located at 975 E. Irving Blvd in Irving has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee, who was last in the store on April 5th, is doing well and has our full support; we are hopeful for a speedy recovery."

Padilla, who has asthma, said she's been told to self-quarantine for 14 days because she was possibly exposed.

The store also posted on its website that an employee at the Fiesta on Spring Valley Road in Dallas received documentation on April 3, about that person testing positive. They were last in the store on March 28 and the store said in the statement, "is doing well and has our full support; we are hopeful for a speedy recovery."

Fiesta states on the website that the company has taken safety precautions like providing gloves and masks to employees.

Many other stores continue to implement different safety measures as new information and regulations come down the pipeline from local, state and federal governments.

“It's our job to feed Texans so if our partners aren't healthy then we can't do our job so that's really important for us," said Mabrie Jackson, Director of Public affairs for H-E-B and Central Market.

She said they've added Plexiglas for employees at the checkout counter to stand behind. They've also added social distancing markers on the floor indicating how far six feet is. The store has also given employees a $2 per hour raise to help during the crisis.

"We've also encouraged our partners to step aside if there's a customer coming down the aisle, step aside, let them shop and continue stocking so it keeps that distance between them," Jackson said.

Other stores are implementing similar measures. Kroger for example recently started limiting the number of customers in the store, supplied a one-time bonus for employees and have distributed over 200,000 protective masks and gloves.

Albertsons, which owns stores such as Tom Thumb and Randalls, said it's working with the nation’s largest food and retail union to try and certify grocery workers as first responders during the pandemic. The reason, so that they would be prioritized for testing and receiving personal protective equipment.

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