Dear Co-op Members,
Yesterday we learned that two Co-op employees tested positive for COVID-19. One of the two works in a customer-facing role in our Prepared Foods Department, and they last worked on Tuesday, Dec. 28. It is highly unlikely that any customers were close contacts, defined as at least 15 minutes cumulative over a 24-hour period within 6 feet of an infectious person. Still, we are communicating this out of an abundance of caution. You can read the State’s updated guidance for close contacts here.
Since the onset of the pandemic, our safety measures have proven effective in preventing spread within the Co-op. Currently, we recommend but do not require that Co-op shoppers, employees, and vendors get fully vaccinated. We are actively working with our workers’ union to prepare to comply with the new OSHA rule calling for larger employers to require vaccination or weekly testing of employees. This rule is set to go into full effect the week of February 9, pending consideration by the Supreme Court. We expect this will be another important step in protecting our community and ultimately emerging from this pandemic.
We anticipate this next phase of the pandemic will be especially challenging given the transmissibility of the Omicron variant. The Co-op will remain vigilant by continuing to require masking and encouraging hand washing/sanitizing and physical distancing as possible. We will provide regular updates to our shoppers and staff as new data and information comes available. You might consider stocking up and making fewer shopping trips over the coming weeks to reduce contact with others. Our Curbside Pick-Up program remains the best option for those who want to avoid any risk of in-store shopping.
Thank you for supporting our co-op community.
Kari Bradley, General Manager