Grocery workers in Summit County fear little is being done about exposure to coronavirus
FRISCO — Workers at three Summit County chain stores have have tested positive for the new coronavirus, according to anonymous tips sent to the Summit Daily News.
Employees from Walmart and Whole Foods in Frisco and City Market in Dillon reached out to the Summit Daily News by email or phone message to say employees at their stores had tested positive for the virus. All requested to remain anonymous to protect their jobs.
The worker from Whole Foods described a situation in which no new precautions had been instituted after the case was confirmed positive. However, the Walmart employee said workers who were exposed to the person who tested positive were asked to quarantine. The Walmart worker also said employees were told by a manager not to share the information with the public.
Public health officials will release patient information to an employer only if it is important to do so for the health and safety of the public, Summit County Public Health Director Amy Wineland said.
“If we identify that an individual might have been working while symptomatic in our investigation, we absolutely will reach out to that employer and talk about what needs to be done at that organization to make sure that staff continue to be healthy there and safe,” Wineland said.
Essential businesses do not have any requirements from government to take additional precautions after learning that an employee has the new virus. Wineland said the county will contact businesses to ensure they are following all of the policies and procedures established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For example, Wineland said, the county checks in with essential businesses to ensure that employees are wearing facial coverings, a requirement that was included in Gov. Jared Polis’ executive order issued Friday.
CDC guidelines suggest that essential employees who have been exposed to the virus can remain working as long as they are asymptomatic. Employees who are exposed should maintain a 6-foot distance from others and self-monitor their symptoms. The department also recommends that businesses thoroughly clean surfaces as well as prescreen employees by testing temperatures before they start work.
Representatives from Whole Foods Frisco, Walmart in Frisco and City Market in Dillon declined to comment.
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