SANTA MONICA, CA — Another Whole Foods Market worker in Santa Monica has tested positive for the coronavirus — the fourth employee at one of the grocery chain’s smallest locations in the U.S. to test positive in the last several months.
The worker is in quarantine and apparently did not get sick at the store, according to an employee at 1425 Montana Ave. location who spoke with Patch.
Employees have complained that the location is small and makes it difficult to socially distance between customers and workers. The store is so small that the employees have a separate break room off-site, in an area separate from the store.
Essential workers have faced some of the greatest risks throughout the pandemic. Whole Foods workers are Amazon employees and have no union representation. Patch reached out to CAL/OSHA for more information about this location.
Patch reached out to Whole Foods Market for a statement of how it is responding to the ongoing cases, with the most recent known and disclosed case in July.
“We have had positive COVID-19 cases in this location since the start of the pandemic, but are not able to share details out of respect for the privacy of our team members,” a Whole Foods Market spokesperson told Patch.
Employees at this Whole Foods location receive text message alerts when a team member tests positive for the coronavirus.
Whole Foods continues to release the following statement to Patch:
“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. We’ve been working closely with our store Team Members, and are supporting the diagnosed Team Member, who is in quarantine. Out of an abundance of caution, the store has performed a professional deep cleaning and disinfection, on top of our current enhanced sanitation measures. All Whole Foods Market stores continue to operate under social distancing and crowd control measures. Additionally, we have installed plexiglass barriers at check out, are requiring temperature checks and face masks for anyone working in our stores, and have implemented enhanced daily cleanliness and disinfection protocols in all of our stores.”