An employee at Foodland on School Street has tested positive for the coronavirus, prompting the store to close early today for deep cleaning.
Foodland closed the store at 1:30 p.m. after notifying its 50 employees of the COVID-19 case and hired a professional sanitization service for thorough cleaning and sanitation, the company said in a news release. The store at 414 N. School Street will reopen at 6 a.m. Tuesday.
The COVID-19-positive worker was screened before starting work on Friday and passed a wellness check, but the Department of Health confirmed the illness today. The employee does not work directly with customers and Foodland said it has asked some colleagues to self-quarantine as a safety precaution.
“Having one of our employees test positive for COVID-19 is something we worked very hard to prevent and hoped would never happen,” Jenai Wall, chairman and CEO said in a news release. “Nevertheless, it is an important reminder for all of us to be extra vigilant by wearing masks, social distancing and following other recommended safety precautions to protect our families, our co-workers and our community.”
The locally-owned grocery chain, which was one of the first Hawaii retailers to require mandatory masks for workers and customers in its stores, said it is working with the DOH to ensure proper safety procedures.
Starting in March, Foodland employees were required to pass a wellness check before their shifts and stores instituted new safety procedures and increased cleaning of high-touch areas, as well as limited the number of customers and placed markers in lines so that customers could stand at least six-feet apart. Plexiglass barriers were also installed at check stands.
The kamaaina company operates 33 stores — under the Foodland, Foodland Farms and Sack N Save brands on four islands — and has more than 2,600 workers.