As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the country, Loblaw revealed Monday that an employee has tested positive and outlined the actions taken to mitigate any risks of the virus spreading.
As has been the case since last weekend, Loblaw used a detailed statement from executive chairman Galen Weston to communicate directly with customers via email to members of the PC Optimum program and posted at the Loblaw Companies website.
Like other communications during the COVID-19 crisis, Weston’s statement is notable for the detail and transparency.
“There are all kinds of rumours flying around about cases in our stores and that is likely to continue,” said Weston. “My commitment to you is to use this and other local communication channels to give you the latest and most accurate information about what is happening in our stores.”
The employee with the positive COVID-19 diagnosis works at a Real Canadian Superstore in Oshawa, just east of Toronto.
“We know you’re relying on us to continue to serve you, even as COVID-19 spreads in your communities. So, I’d like you to know how we will respond if colleagues test positive,” said Weston before explaining the four distinct actions taken in response to the confirmed case.
•Loblaw immediately began to work with local public health to investigate the employee’s shifts and direct contacts. Any co-workers who should self isolate “will be instructed to stay home and we will pay them in full,” said Weston.
•The store was given a “deep-clean” over and above new enhanced cleaning protocols introduced in response to COVID-19.
•Any time an employee tests positive, the store will close immediately, said Weston. “We know communities consider us an essential service right now, but we ask for your patience as we will remain closed for as long as it takes to deep-clean, or on the advice of public health.”
•Finally, Weston said Loblaw would be “completely transparent” about the positive case of COVID-19. “For example, in the current case, we have talked to all colleagues, posted a notice to local social media, and emailed thousands of individual customers who used their PC Optimum account in that particular location.”
The statement is the sixth such communication from Weston since March 13, just as the COVID-19 crisis quickly escalated across the country and concerned Canadians began to rush to their grocery stores to stockpile food and other household essentials to ride out a lockdown or self-isolation.