Representatives for the Giant Food Company have confirmed that a number of workers at the company’s store at 1880 Leithsville Road in Lower Saucon Township have tested positive for COVID-19 over the past few days. Company officials said they are working to ensure the safety of other staff and customers.
Saucon Source reached out to the company for comment after receiving an email from a concerned individual Sunday stating that there were “four (employees whose tests were) positive confirmed in just the last 24 hours” and questioning cleaning and sanitation procedures that are in place to help mitigate the spread of the virus.
Giant public relations manager Ashley Flowers confirmed Monday that five employees in the Hellertown store have tested positive for COVID-19 since Thursday, Dec. 3.
“The health and well-being of our team members is of the utmost importance to us,” Flowers said. “Our relationship with our team members is strong and since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been and will remain in frequent contact with our team members, providing them with important health information and details on the proactive measures we’re taking to ensure their safety.”
Flowers explained Giant’s protocols for preventing the spread of COVID-19 as follows:
In the event of a suspected or confirmed case, we immediately follow our protocols which include mandatory quarantine, informing team members, contact tracing and an additional thorough cleaning and sanitation. In our stores, we’ve implemented several measures to ensure a safe and clean operating environment, many of which exceed what is required by the PA Department of Health, with whom we remain in close contact, and the CDC. These measures include but are not limited to: temperature checks upon entry to the building, mandatory mask-wear for all team members, social-distancing, frequently cleaning and disinfecting high touch areas (on average every three to four hours) and regular reminders to team members to reiterate our policies and procedures. We’ve also provided our team members with information on how to ask questions or share concerns, and we work diligently to respond to and resolve any that are brought to our attention.
More information about Giant’s COVID-19 response in its stores can be found on the company’s website, which notes that shopping from 6 to 7 a.m. in its stores is still reserved for individuals 60 and older. Individuals who identify as immunocompromised based on a CDC definition or who are assisting an adult as a caregiver “won’t be turned away,” it says. Stores are open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The Hellertown Giant is an important source of food and supplies for many residents of the Saucon Valley community, as it is the only full-size grocery store currently operating in Hellertown borough and Lower Saucon Township. Among the other Giant stores in the area are stores located in Coopersburg, Quakertown and Bethlehem.
The Giant website also notes that due to increased demand, purchase limits are in place for certain items. This fall disinfecting and paper products have become scarce in most retail stores that sell them, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic’s resurgence.