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Cobble Hill Trader Joe’s Stayed Open After Staffers Test Positive for COVID-19, Report Says

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Plus, Shake Shack is shipping meal kits — and more intel

Trader Joe’s store in Princeton, New Jersey...
A Trader Joe’s sign
Photo by Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Cobble Hill Trader Joe’s stays open after staffers test positive for COVID-19, report says

Four Trader Joe’s locations across New York City have closed temporarily as a result of staffers testing positive for coronavirus this month, but a new report from Buzzfeed News details one location that stayed open despite staffer concerns. Two employees of the Cobble Hill Trader Joe’s said that a worker in the store had tested positive for COVID-19, while two others have been identified as suspected cases. The store, however, will not be temporarily closing for a cleaning as others in the city have.

According to the Buzzfeed report, in an email to employees staff on Monday, one of the store’s managers wrote, “Because the crew member [diagnosed by a doctor] was in the store 9 days ago, the CDC does not recommend cleaning beyond what we have already been doing.” There are 11 Trader Joe’s locations in total across the city, and so far, ones in Union Square, Soho, Chelsea, and the Upper West Side have closed for several days for cleanings due to staffers testing positive for the novel coronavirus.

It’s not entirely clear why some Trader Joe’s locations have different policies around closing than others, but the difference illustrates the risks that grocery store workers face as they continue to work amid the public health crisis.

On Monday, workers who fulfill orders for grocery delivery service Instacart protested what they saw as inadequate safety measures and insufficient pay. That same day, some Whole Foods employees held a sick-out demanding hazard pay during the public health crisis. 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.

In other news

— In other TJ’s news, the grocery store will dedicate the first hour of operation — generally, between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. — to serving customers over the age of 60 and disabled customers.

— East Coast icon Shake Shack is now shipping its burgers nationally through Goldbelly. The restaurant will be delivering meal kits, consisting of eight patties, potato rolls, American cheese, and containers of ShackSauce ($49).

— Relief Opportunities for All Restaurants (ROAR) is launching a relief fund in coordination with nonprofit Robin Hood. Restaurant employees will be able to apply for a $500 relief check through the organization’s website.

— Brooklyn’s hard seltzer festival has been delayed. Seltzer Land will now be coming to the Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint on Saturday, August 29.

— Williamsburg’s Concord Hill is offering 15 percent off alcoholic beverages for customers who order by calling the restaurant, rather than using a third-party delivery app.

— Park Slope’s annual Taste of Fifth food festival goes online this year, encouraging residents in the 11215 and 11217 zip codes to order takeout instead.

— Passover begins on April 8 this year. These New York City restaurants are still delivering for the occasion.

Vinnie’s Pizzeria in Williamsburg will be delivering donated pizzas to essential service workers in New York City.

— A Bed-Stuy fire destroyed JS Deli Grocery, a neighborhood deli and grocery store, yesterday afternoon.

— Some Whole Foods employees in the city called for a “sick-out” yesterday.

— Maybe you should try this guide?