The store at 1109 N. Highland Street is closed today after an employee, who was last at the store on Monday, tested positive for the disease, according to a sign on the door.
“We are temporarily closing the store for precautionary cleaning and sanitation because a Crew Member has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19),” the sign says. “As soon as the store has been fully cleaned and restocked, we plan to reopen.”
“The Crew Member was last present at the store on April 13, 2020,” the sign continues. “Our focus remains on doing whatever is necessary to safeguard the health and safety of our Crew Members and customers and [to] best support our communities.”
Trader Joe’s is not the only store in Arlington where employees have tested positive for coronavirus, though it may be the most forthcoming with customers.
The Washington Business Journal reported yesterday that at least two employees at the Pentagon City Whole Foods have also tested positive and are currently in quarantine. The store “performed an additional cleaning and disinfection” after the cases were confirmed, a spokeswoman told WBJ, though it apparently remained open during regular business hours and did not post signs to notify customers.
The paper’s reporting seems to confirm a tip received by ARLnow on April 1, which we were unable to confirm at the time.
“I have a friend… whose roommate works at the Whole Foods in Pentagon City,” the tipster said. “There have been reports of two employees. diagnosed with COVID-19. This information was held from some employees and possibly from the many customers shopping at this location.”
Another store in Pentagon City may also have at least one COVID-19 case among its employees. On Friday, ARLnow received a tip that the neighborhood’s Costco store notified employees of a coworker who tested positive after last working on March 20.
“Costco Pentagon has an employee that has tested positive for coronavirus,” the tipster said. “Last day work was March 20… they just let their other employees know today, April 10.”
As of publication time Costco had not responded to a request for comment from ARLnow.
Grocery stores and other stores offering consumer staples have been deemed essential and allowed to remain open. After the coronavirus crisis prompted a crush of customers in stores many, like Costco, have started limiting the number of people in the stores at any given time and have instituted other social distancing measures.