The Rappahannock Area Health District confirms that several employees of the Aldi grocery store in the Four Mile Fork area of Spotsylvania have tested positive for COVID-19. This the first COVID-19 outbreak reported in the localities covered by the health district, with a confirmed outbreak defined as two lab-confirmed cases that are linked by a person, place, or time outside of a household.
The store, located at 5099 Jefferson Davis Highway, underwent a deep cleaning performed by an outside company and has since reopened. All exposed staff have been quarantined.
The Rapphannock Area Health District investigates all confirmed cases of COVID-19, performs contact tracing, conducts case interviews and ensures preventative measures are in place. The above steps have already taken place, as well as precautions listed below:
- All employees positive for COVID-19 are isolating at home.
- All employees exposed to the COVID-19 positive cases are quarantining at home for the 14 days after their last exposure to the COVID-19 confirmed employees.
- No employees exposed to the COVID-19 positive cases are working at Aldi until their quarantine period is over.
- Cashiers are placed at least six feet apart.
- Plexiglass barriers have been installed for customer protection.
- High-touch store areas are frequently cleaned and disinfected.
- All employees are wearing face masks
- All employees are practicing social distancing and proper hand hygiene while at work.
- The number of customers in the store at one time is limited (40 max).
Statement from Aldi Corporate Manager Philip Roades:
"The health and well-being of our employees and customers is our highest priority. We can confirm that we have had multiple employees who work in our store at 5099 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Fredericksburg, Virginia, test positive for COVID-19. We have asked all employees from this store to self-quarantine to focus on their health. The store was closed temporarily on April 28th for a deep cleaning performed by a third-party service, and it has since reopened with employees from other nearby ALDI locations so we can continue to serve the local community.
All employees who are in quarantine are on paid leave and we are doing all that we can to support them at this time. We have partnered with the Rappahannock Area Health District and are following its guidance as well as the advice of the CDC to ensure we continue to operate with everyone’s safety top of mind."
For individuals wondering about the need to isolate due to recently shopping at the store, our local health department offers this advice:
The Rappahannock Area Health District conducts contact tracing with individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. This process includes identifying "close contacts" or those who have been within 6 feet of the individual for 10 minutes while the individual was symptomatic, or in the 2 days before they began showing symptoms. These close contacts are considered most at risk for exposure, and they are called by the health department to receive recommendations.
Those who do not meet the criteria of a close contact are considered lower risk; however, it is advisable to continue to follow available public health guidance to protect yourself and others, particularly if you are concerned you may have been exposed. If you experience any symptoms of COVID-19, it is very important to stay home to prevent spreading illness to others. This includes not going to the grocery store or to work if you are experiencing symptoms. All residents are encouraged to stay home as much as possible. If you are not experiencing symptoms and do need to go out to perform an essential task, it is important to practice social distancing by staying at least 6 feet away from others, wear a cloth mask over your nose and mouth, and frequently wash hands or use hand sanitizer. These precautions are recommended for situations in which you could unknowingly be around someone who has the virus.
If you have further questions, please feel free to call the Rappahannock Area Health District at 540-899-4797. Staff is available to answer questions about COVID-19 Monday through Friday from 8 am -4:30 pm.
*CLICK link to access local COVID-19 testing sites through the Virginia Department of Health’s website: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/…/covi…/covid-19-testing-sites/
Spotsylvania County continues to stress that residents follow these recommended actions during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Continue following Governor Northam’s Executive Order 55 Stay-at-Home; stay home as much as possible and make limited trips to obtain food and medications while attempting to maintain social distancing.
- Follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for wearing cloth face coverings in public to reduce the spread of the virus from asymptomatic individuals.
- Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under 2-years-old, anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
- Continue following infection prevention and control measures, such as washing hands, coughing/sneezing into a tissue or sleeve and not touching eyes, nose or mouth.
- Call your doctor if you are experiencing possible COVID-19 symptoms.
- Seek necessary medical care; don’t avoid seeking non-COVID-19-related emergency medical care due to fear of virus transmission.
- Check on seniors to make sure they are okay while practicing social distancing; offer to pick up items or medications for them while making your own limited trips to grocery stores and pharmacies.
- Stay informed with accurate, up-to-date information by monitoring the following websites: www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/ , http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/rappahannock/ and www.cdc.gov/covid19
- Sign up for SpotsyAlert and never miss important messages from the county during incidents and emergencies.