Wenatchee Store Closed as 21 Walmart Employees Test Positive For COVID-19
The Wenatchee Walmart is closed until Saturday morning for deep cleaning after the Chelan Douglas Health District confirmed a cluster of 21 positive covid-19 cases among Wenatchee Walmart employees.
The CDHD had advised all employees testing positive to isolate for at least 10 days or until they no longer have COVID-19 symptoms including no fever for 24 hours. District Director of Health Communications Veronica Farias said identifying and contacting anyone who may have been exposed to those employees will be done by state Department of Health contact tracing teams. "We don't do our contact tracing anymore, the state does that for us so as soon as we hear additional information about the very first case and more specific dates and details about how the outbreak unfolded we will release this information"
That time frame will be important for anyone who came in contact for a significant period of time with the employees who tested positive. They could be asked to quarantine at home for at least 14 days.
WalMart Director of Global Communications Anne Hatfield said in a press release “As an essential business and member of the Wenatchee community, we understand the role we play in providing our customers with food, medicine, and other essential items during this unprecedented time. We also understand the area has been hit especially hard by COVID-19"
Wal-Mart has hired a third-party specialist to sanitize the store and plans are to reopen to customers at 7 a.m. on Saturday, July 25th
Hatfield added “Everything we’re doing is for the well-being of our associates and customers, and in consideration of guidance by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and health experts. When the store reopens on Saturday, we will continue to conduct associate health screens and temperature checks, provide associates with face masks and gloves, and require associates and customers to wear a mask or other facial covering."
WalMart had previously enacted safety protocols during the past several weeks including installing sneeze guards at registers, limiting the number of customers in a store at any one time, enacting one-way aisle shopping, placing social distancing signage.