Grocery stores have been called essential services by the Provincial government, which is why the workers there are vulnerable to catching COVID-19. It’s happened before, and now it’s happened in Guelph, specifically at the Clair Road location of Longo’s. According to a company press release, a worker at Longo’s Guelph has tested positive for COVID-19, but the chain’s owner is saying that they’re handling it.
“At this time, we are taking immediate actions in the best interests of our Team Members and Guests while ensuring that the Team Member who tested positive has the support they need for a healthy recovery,” said Anthony Longo in a statement.
According to the post, the worker’s last scheduled shift was March 24, and once the diagnosis was revealed the store took steps to do an “additional deep cleaning in-store, above and beyond our already elevated sanitation and cleaning protocols.” Longo also said that they’re reviewing the work schedule of the employee to identify which co-workers he came into contact with, and who might have to go into self-isolation. Longo added that these employee will continue to be paid in full.
“This issue has our full attention and we are moving forward with the health and safety of every Team Member and Guest in mind,” Longo said. “We are committed to being open and transparent on developments as they happen. Health authorities continue to reinforce that the risk of grocery shopping remains low. Let’s all work together to keep everyone safe.”
This is the second Longo’s store in the last week to find itself with a COVID-affected employee. On Thursday, a store in Woodbridge was cleared with an employee tested positive for COVID-19, and a similar cleaning and investigation with York Region Public Health took place before the store was allowed to re-open on Friday night.
The news in the south end comes just a couple of days after a north end business was issued a summons under the Emergency Management And Civil Protection Act. A 48-year-old Maple woman was charged with Fail To Comply With An Order Made During A Declared Emergency after police witnesses a customer leaving a business deemed “non-essential” in the Smart Centre plaza at the corner of Woodlawn and Woolwich.
The woman will appear in court on July 16.
The issuance of a summons, and the concern it generated, forced Guelph Police to release a statement Friday re-iterating that all non-essential business (according to the Province’s list) are required to close to help slow the spread of COV-19. If anyone, from a business owner to the general public, has a question as to whether or not a business can, or should, be open is encouraged to call the Stop The Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.
Although Police headquarters is closed to the public for non-emergency services, their non-emergency line at 519-824-1212 remains open for public should they have any concerns. “Generally, we will start with educating those failing to adhere to the law and take progressive steps towards enforcement, if necessary,” the Police media release said.
For more on essential workers at Ontario stores, and their struggles on the frontlines of the pandemic, download the Guelph Politicast this coming Wednesday for an interview with Debora De Angelis, the Ontario director of the United Food and Commercial Workers union.