A Bethlehem Wawa was closed temporarily Saturday for cleaning and disinfection, after an employee who recently worked in the convenience store tested positive for COVID-19.
In an update published on its website’s COVID safety page, the company indicated that the employee was last present in the store at 1584 Eighth Avenue on Monday, Nov. 16.
News of the closure comes amid a surge in new COVID-19 cases, both in the Lehigh Valley and across the state.
On Friday, the Pennsylvania Department of Health reported 6,808 new cases of COVID-19. That total was several hundred cases shy of the daily record, set the day before.
According to the health depatment’s COVID-19 dashboard, on Thursday, Nov. 19, there were 254 new coronavirus cases confirmed in Lehigh County, in which the Eighth Avenue Wawa is located.
Thursday’s new caseload was a record for the county.
Nearby, Northampton County set a daily new case record on Wednesday, when it reported 170 new cases, according to COVID-19 dashboard data.
Northampton County also reported an additional death from COVID-19 Wednesday, which brought the death toll from the disease to date to 326 there.
The death toll from COVID-19 in Lehigh County stood at 376 as of Saturday.
Since the pandemic began in March, a number of other Wawa stores in the area have temporarily closed after employees tested positive for the disease, including stores in Fountain Hill, Lower Macungie Township and Upper Macungie Township in Lehigh County and Hilltown Township, Bucks County.
“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,” the company says on its website. “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.”