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Trader Joe’s Temporarily Closes Two NYC Stores After Staffers Test Positive for COVID-19

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The Soho and Union Square outposts are the latest in a series of East Coast shutdowns for the popular grocery chain

The exterior of a store with the words trader joe’s emblazoned in red Trader Joe’s [Official]

Another Trader Joe’s store has temporarily closed in New York City after a worker tested positive for the novel coronavirus — the latest closure in a series of East Coast shutdowns of the popular grocery chain’s locations.

The company’s Soho location at at 233 Spring Street, at Sixth Avenue, closed earlier this week, following closures in Plainview, New York; Millburn, New Jersey; and both the grocery and wine store located at Union Square.

The employee who tested positive for COVID-19 was last in the Soho store on Tuesday, March 17, according to a company spokesperson. It’s still up-in-the-air when the Soho Trader Joe’s will reopen, but standard protocol is to close at least three days for cleaning.

Other sanitation procedures include notifying the public and staffers, as well as counseling any staffers who may potentially be impacted on CDC-recommended self-monitoring protocols. If employees cannot work due to temporary store closures, they will continue to be paid for their scheduled shifts.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we have temporarily closed the store for thorough cleaning and sanitization. As soon as the store has been fully cleaned and restocked, we plan to reopen,” Trader Joe’s said in an announcement on their website.

Earlier this week, Trader Joe’s announced that the Union Square location of its grocery store had temporarily closed for cleaning, as had the adjoining wine store, the company’s only in the city.

The staffer who tested positive at the Union Square Trader Joe’s was last in the store on Sunday, March 22, the company said. According to the store’s online hours on Google Maps, the Trader Joe’s grocery and wine stores are expected to reopen Saturday.

There are 11 Trader Joe’s locations across the city, and as people stock up on groceries amid orders to stay at home to help curb the spread of COVID-19, locations have been busy.

The closures highlight the risks that employees at New York City’s essential businesses face as they continue to work amid the public health crisis. Some are calling for hazard pay in light of the increased vulnerability, in part due to heightened traffic at some grocery stores. Others, like the Trader Joe’s Union, are simply asking to be able to wear gloves and masks while at work and for at-risk crew members to have extended paid sick time.

Update, Friday, March 27, 3:19 p.m.: The Trader Joe’s locations at Union Square and in Plainview have reopened, according to the company’s website. The Soho location remains closed, as well as stores in Chelsea, the Upper West Side, and Milburn, New Jersey.