SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. – A COVID-19 outbreak has been reported at a Spotsylvania County grocery store after several employees tested positive for the virus.
The Rappahannock Area Health District confirms the outbreak at the Aldi grocery store in the Four Mile Fork area of Spotsylvania.
A confirmed outbreak is defined as two lab-confirmed cases that are linked by a person, place, or time outside of a household.
Health officials say it’s the first outbreak reported in the Rappahannock Area Health District.
Aldi officials say all employees from the store has been asked to self-quarantine and the store was temporarily closed on April 28 for a deep cleaning performed by a third-party service.
The location has since reopened with employees from other nearby ALDI locations.
Aldi Corporate Manager Philip Roades released the following statement concerning the COVID-19 outbreak:
"The health and well-being of our employees and customers is our highest priority. We can confirm that we have had multiple employees who work in our store at 5099 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Fredericksburg, Virginia, test positive for COVID-19.
All employees who are in quarantine are on paid leave and we are doing all that we can to support them at this time. We have partnered with the Rappahannock Area Health District and are following its guidance as well as the advice of the CDC to ensure we continue to operate with everyone’s safety top of mind."
The health district says the following preventative measures and precautions are in place:
· All employees positive for COVID-19 are isolating at home.
· All employees exposed to the COVID-19 positive cases are quarantining at home for the 14 days after their last exposure to the COVID-19 confirmed employees.
· No employees exposed to the COVID-19 positive cases are working at Aldi until their quarantine period is over.
· Cashiers are placed at least six feet apart.
· Plexiglass barriers have been installed for customer protection.
· High-touch store areas are frequently cleaned and disinfected.
· All employees are wearing face masks. The number of customers in the store at one time is limited (40 max).
· All employees are practicing social distancing and proper hand hygiene while at work.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.Avoid non-essential travel.