A COVID-19 outbreak involving at least 23 employees of a Whole Foods Market on Mack Avenue in midtown Detroit has been confirmed by the company and the Detroit Health Department. The store has since reopened.
The Mack Avenue shop employs 196 people. Sources speaking under condition of anonymity told Daily Detroit Thursday three quarters of the employees working Tuesday evening tested positive for the virus via rapid tests. The store closed within an hour after receiving the test results. All other employees were offered rapid tests by the city’s department of health. Employees who tested positive will not be allowed to work until they produce a negative test result.
A spokesperson for Whole Foods later confirmed the early closing time due to the positive tests results and confirmed a number of employees at the Midtown store have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began last March.
“The safety of our Team Members and customers remains our top priority, which is why we address any confirmed diagnosis in our stores with a comprehensive action plan that includes enhanced cleaning and contact tracing, as well as communicating directly with our Team Members,” a statement provided to Eater reads. “We support any Team Member who is diagnosed positive or placed in quarantine so they can prioritize their health and stay home. We have rolled out extensive measures to keep people safe in our stores and are diligently following all guidance from local health and food safety authorities.”
According to the company’s corporate website, the Mack Avenue location limits capacity inside and prioritizes customers 60 years and older, high risk individuals, and people with disabilities on Friday mornings. Staff and customers are required to wear masks inside the store.
City of Detroit food-service workers, including those working in grocery stores, are now eligible to receive both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. All eligible Detroit residents and food service industry employees should call 313-230-0505 to schedule an appointment for their first and second vaccine dose. Vaccinations take place at the TCF Center downtown.