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Whole Foods Kailua worker tested negative for coronavirus, company now says

  • NINA WU / NWU@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                A worker at the Whole Foods Kailua who initially was “presumed” to have COVID-19” has in fact tested negative for the coronavirus, the Texas-based retailer said today.

    NINA WU / NWU@STARADVERTISER.COM

    A worker at the Whole Foods Kailua who initially was “presumed” to have COVID-19” has in fact tested negative for the coronavirus, the Texas-based retailer said today.

UPDATE: Tuesday, 4:25 p.m.

Whole Foods officials said this afternoon that the Kailua store employee who was presumed to have the coronavirus has actually tested negative for COVID-19.

A spokeswoman for the Austin, Texas, based retailer told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser in an e-mail today that the worker “has received test results that are, in fact, negative for the virus.”

“We are very happy for our fellow team member, and we will continue to be diligent in our cleaning, sanitizing and our social-distancing measures to ensure the safety of our team members and customers,” company officials said.

On Monday, the company had said a Whole Food Kailua employee was “presumed” to have COVID-19 despite not being tested.

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A worker at the Whole Foods Market in Kailua has a “presumed case of COVID-19,” a spokeswoman for the Texas-based retailer’s corporate headquarters said Monday.

The employee has not been tested, but has been told that they have a presumed case, according to the spokeswoman, who said in an email to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that the company is taking the matter “very seriously.”

She said that the worker has not been tested because “testing is currently unavailable.” The employee is in quarantine, but the store remains open.

The store is implementing the same measures that it would if the worker had tested positive, she said.

“The safety of our team members and customers is our top priority and we are diligently following all guidance from local health and food safety authorities,” said Whole Foods in a statement. “We’ve been working closely with our store team members, and are supporting the team member who has a presumptive case of COVID-19 and is in quarantine. Out of an abundance of caution, the store performed an additional cleaning and disinfection, on top of our current enhanced sanitation measures.”

Whole Foods said it will continue to implement safety measures in response to COVID-19. In addition to enhanced daily cleanliness and sanitation protocols, Whole Foods said it is operating under social distancing guidelines at its stores and facilities.

It is also closing its stores up to two hours early to give workers more time to restock shelves and sanitize stores in preparation for the next day.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

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