A busy Costco store in Vaughan, Ontario, just north of Toronto, is coming under heavy criticism today for remaining open despite the fact that five of its employees recently tested positive for COVID-19.
Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua confirmed in a statement on Sunday evening that five people who work at the Hwy 7 and Weston Road Costco location "are confirmed COVID-19 positive," but that the risk to shoppers at this time is considered low.
"York Region Public Health conducted case investigation and contact tracing, and have followed up with close contacts to recommend self-isolation," wrote Bevilacqua in his statement, published via Twitter.
"Public Health continues to work with Costco management to ensure appropriate infection prevention and control measures are being taken, including cleaning and disinfecting."
This is ridiculous. Why did Longo's close buy Costco is exempt? A lot of people shop there. They are all now at risk.— Estrela Da Silva (@Estrela_DaSilva) April 27, 2020
Bevilacqua says two onsite inspections have already been completed at the Costco in question and that a third is scheduled for this week.
Additional precautions taken include the review of sick time and isolation policies, limiting the number of people in the store's staff room, and screening staff prior to the start of their shifts.
Unlike the nearby Longo's location at 9200 Weston Road which closed down for two weeks earlier this month after eight staff members tested positive for the deadly virus, the Vaughan Costco is not closing down for deep cleaning or to let all employees self-quarantine.
Customers are expressing their concern online and asking the company why this is the case.
Stay away from Costco in Vaughan, corona just be floating around in that bitch— 🍀 (@SwagRLoso) April 27, 2020
Costco has yet to return a request for comment, but a call placed to the Vaughan store confirmed that the location is open as of Monday.
It has not yet been made public how the Costco employees may have been infected or when they last worked at the store, much to the dismay of frequent shoppers who are now worried for their own health.
As of Sunday evening, 1,405 cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed in York Region with 82 deaths.
by Lauren O'Neil via blogTO