Meijer in Warren, Amazon center in Shelby Twp. report worker with virus

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

A worker at a Meijer store in Warren and a staff member from an Amazon fulfillment center in Shelby Township have tested positive for the coronavirus, officials at the businesses said Wednesday night.

Meijer said it could not disclose specific information about the affected individual who works at the Mound Road location. The company said in a statement that it "has been in contact with health officials to ensure we are in complete alignment on proper protocols for the safety of our team members and customers.

Meijer officials say they are following CDC guidelines during the pandemic.

"We have also communicated this information to all our team members at the store. Ensuring the safety and health of our team members, customers and community is our top priority."

Meanwhile, the store has been thoroughly deep cleaned and will remain open, representatives said. 

"We want our customers and team members to feel confident being in our stores and will continue to take appropriate action to ensure the health and safety of those who walk through our doors," Meijer said.

The Grand Rapids-based retailer, which operates 248 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky, has been following the Centers for Disease Control’s guidelines to respond to COVID-19.

That includes cleaning and sanitizing high-frequency touch points such as check lanes, self-checkouts and service area as well as employee work areas.

An electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February shows the virus that causes COVID-19.

On Wednesday, Meijer announced plans to install plexiglass shields at all of its check lanes starting next week. That follows the company suspending bottle returns and taking reusable bags unless through its Shop & Scan program. Other measures include marking X’s on the floor 6 feet apart in areas where shoppers gathers, officials said.

Also Wednesday, Amazon confirmed an associate at the fulfillment center in Shelby Township has COVID-19.

The worker was last on site March 18, received medical care and is in quarantine, the company said in a statement.

"We are supporting the individual who is recovering," Amazon said. "We are following guidelines from local officials and are taking extreme measures to ensure the safety of employees at our site."

The company has alerted employees at the site and asked anyone who was in close contact with the diagnosed staffer to stay home with pay for 14-days in self-quarantine, according to the statement.

Amazon said it is consulting with health authorities and medical experts on how to handle building closures for deep cleaning if an employee tests positive for COVID-19. The company has also implemented health measures at its sites, including increasing cleaning and sanitizing, shifting start times or breaks as well as asking employees to defer non-essential travel.

The Macomb cases come as COVID-19 spreads across Michigan and Metro Detroit.

State health officials on Wednesday announced 2,294 total confirmed COVID-19 cases and 43 deaths. The numbers represented the largest single-day increases in cases and deaths so far during the outbreak.