The Loblaws at Christie and Dupont has reopened for in-store shopping as of Monday, May 25 after being closed following two COVID-19 cases.
On May 11, with exception to pharmaceutical and pick-up grocery services, the store was temporarily closed for cleaning after a number of employees tested positive for COVID-19 on April 17, April 29, and May 2.
After those incidents, the store assured consumers that they were working closely with public health officials to make sure the risk to customers remains low, which propelled critics to question what is being done to protect workers.
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
In a statement to customers, Loblaws said the store will “continue to enforce all social distancing measures,” including limiting the number of people in the store at any one time, and they “will do everything we can to protect our team and our customers.”
“We remain committed to serving our community and ensuring you all remain healthy and fed,” the statement ended.
Meanwhile, the Loblaws at Church and Carlton was temporarily closed on Sunday for a thorough cleaning and sanitization after two staff members tested positive for COVID-19.
Two employees at Loblaws by Church & Carlton tested positive for coronavirus this week.
(60 Carlton St) pic.twitter.com/9q5V2iorOL
— yummycanada (@yummycanada2) May 25, 2020
According to a Facebook post, Loblaws says the staff members’ last days were May 13 and May 18, but neither had symptoms at the time.
“We have a number of protocols in place at the store-level, including daily sanitization and social distancing practices to minimize the risk of exposure to our customers and team members,” Loblaws said in a statement.
Meanwhile, a team member at Fiesta Farms at 200 Christie St., the city’s largest independently owned grocery store, tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Last Wednesday, the store notified customers that the employee’s last day was May 16; they temporarily closed the store to bring in a sanitation team and met with staff to discuss who had been in contact with the affected employee.
Similar to Loblaws, they have since reopened, but some are calling for mandatory masks in stores to protect customers and staff members alike.
We’ve stopped shopping at Loblaws and won’t be back. There are so many other stores in our area that have employees wearing masks and if much rather shop there.
— elizabethp (@lovesjackd) May 25, 2020
On Monday, Ontario health officials reported 404 new cases of COVID-19 and 29 more deaths, bringing the total number of COVID-positive patients in the province to 25,904, including 2,102 deaths.