Update 7/25: Draeger's owner John Draeger said that the store learned of the first case among employees last week.
"We immediately notified the local health department and conducted a deep cleaning of our store," Draeger said.
Draeger added that employees with symptoms are not permitted to work, and that the store performs wellness checks of all staff and take their temperature before they start working. Draeger did not address questions regarding when the employees were last in the store and whether they were in contact with customers, citing the "medical and legal rights of our employees."
Draeger’s Market has temporarily closed its Los Altos location on First Street after multiple employees tested positive for COVID-19, owner John Draeger said in a statement to the Town Crier on Tuesday (July 21).
The employees are quarantining at home, according to Draeger, but the store will be closed for a deep cleaning. All employees will be tested for the coronavirus before returning to work.
“The health of our customers and our employees will always be our first priorities,” Draeger said in a statement.
Draeger’s, which is family-run, has three other Bay Area locations in Menlo Park, San Mateo and Danville.
On Monday (July 20), signs were posted at the entrance of the store, redirecting customers to its Menlo Park location or to its Instacart delivery service. Multiple copies of the note were plastered around the locked entrance and taped to five traffic cones that blocked off vehicles from entering the parking lot. Outside the store, fruit stands selling cantaloupe and melons were empty. Shopping carts were racked neatly next to them.
“Throughout this pandemic, we have closely followed the guidance of the Santa Clara Health Department and taken numerous steps to prevent the spread of the virus,” Draeger said. “We have had mandatory face coverings for all staff and customers. We have limited the number of customers in the store, implemented one-way directional aisles, installed plexiglass at all check stands, regularly sanitized surfaces (including carts and refrigeration handles) and put in place other measures. We have also had required employees stay away from work if they are not feeling well. Those steps remain in place in all of our other stores.”
This is a developing story. Check back with the Town Crier for updates.