A Wawa convenience store in Hilltown Township, Bucks County was temporarily closed for cleaning Thursday after an employee who works in it tested positive for COVID-19, the company said.
According to information posted on the Wawa website, the associate was last present in its Souderton store at 3520 Bethlehem Pike on Friday, April 3.
Three other Wawa stores in eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey are included on a list of stores the company said are now pending reopening after employees who recently worked in them tested positive for the virus. The list is updated daily at 5 p.m. to remove stores from it that have since reopened.
“It is our policy to proactively close our stores for professional deep cleaning and disinfecting after being notified of an associate with a confirmed case of COVID-19,” a statement on the website says. “We will work with the local Department of Health regarding notifications to any of our associates who may have had close contact with the associate to take necessary steps to follow CDC-recommended guidelines to self-quarantine for the appropriate period of time. We will do everything we can to support our impacted associates, including providing paid time off through our relief plan, and take all necessary steps to monitor, safeguard and protect all our associates and customers.”
Several other local Wawa stores–including one in Fountain Hill, Lehigh County–have recently temporarily closed after associates who worked in them tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
The company announced late last month that it was making changes to its stores to help keep employees and customers safe, including removing self-service for beverages and closing all stores from 2 to 3:30 a.m. daily for cleaning and disinfection.
Subsequently it indicated that it would be installing plastic barriers–also known as sneezeguards–at registers and promoting the need for social distancing in its stores.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported Thursday that the total number of cases statewide increased by more than 12 percent to 18,228 after nearly 2,000 more people tested positive for the virus, and that an additional 28 people had died from it.
For updates, news and information about the coronavirus pandemic in Pennsylvania, follow Gov. Tom Wolf on Twitter, visit the Department of Health website and follow the Department of Health on Twitter.
The entire state of Pennsylvania remains under a stay-at-home order until at least April 30, with most businesses closed as part of a massive effort that began in March to help contain the disease.
Both Wolf and state Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine continue to urge all residents to stay home unless they must go to work at an essential business or perform a “life-sustaining” task such as buying food, to help contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.