Hartsdale Trader Joe’s reopening after employee tests positive for COVID-19

Another Westchester grocery store is temporarily closed because an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

News 12 Staff

Apr 3, 2020, 11:46 AM

Updated 1,509 days ago

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The Trader Joe’s grocery store in Hartsdale is reopening after being temporarily closed because an employee tested positive for COVID-19.
The store on North Central Avenue in Hartsdale closed Thursday for deep cleaning after the employee tested positive. It said that employee's last day working there was March 30.
According to the Trader Joe’s website, the chain has closed a number of stores after employees tested positive for COVID-19 because "there is nothing more important to us than the health and safety of our crew members and customers."
Former employee Erica Mildner says that's far from true - at least in Hartsdale.
"I realize that I had to leave for my own safety because I wasn't given the opportunity to wear gloves and protect myself at work," she says.
Mildner says management didn't take expert advice seriously.
"They're extremely late to the game. If you look at Central Avenue, both Shoprite and H Mart for weeks have already put Plexiglas at all of their cashier stations. Trader Joe’s has still required all of their employees to meet, 40 or more at a time, in enclosed huddles twice a day,” she says.
Mildner says seven employees have tested positive out of that store.
One employee who wanted their identity protected said the staff was made aware of a case weeks ago.

"Management let us know the person had been out. They had gotten the test results back positive. They came back positive and then very quickly they said that there wouldn't be any extra cleaning measures taken,” says the employee.

A number of attempts to speak to Trader Joe's have gone unanswered.

Mildner and the employee say customers should have been warned. They say employees rotate around the store and could have exposed many customers.
According to Westchester County Executive George Latimer, the state Department of Health doesn't require grocery stores to notify customers of possible exposure.
The store has enforced some measures, including having customers pack their own bags and setting aside one hour of shopping for more vulnerable populations.
CORONAVIRUS TRACKER - Cases in the tri-state area
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PHOTOS: Your Coronavirus Photo
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