Cornwall grocery store worker tests positive for COVID-19

Update 6:50 p.m. Sunday: Food Basics worker was not told to isolate after test at Cornwall Community Hospital. Click here for the story.

Update 1 p.m. Sunday: Grocery worker unaware they were tested for COVID-19. Click here for the story.

CORNWALL – While the risk is considered low, the regional health unit is notifying people who may have gone to Food Basics on Brookdale Avenue in Cornwall this week after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit says the employee was on day shifts from Monday to Thursday (April 13-16) and again on Saturday (April 18).

The worker started developing COVID-19 symptoms on Wednesday and was tested on Friday. The result came back positive today.

“After receiving the test results, the employee immediately left work and entered isolation. All recommended public health measures were in place at the store throughout the days that the employee worked,” the EOHU said.

It’s not clear why the employee returned to work today (Saturday) after receiving a test on Friday or why they were at work on Thursday. Under the health unit’s so-called Section 22 order, that went into effect April 4, there’s a mandatory 14 day isolation for anyone who has signs or symptoms of the disease and has taken a test but is awaiting the results. Also, those who have “reasonable grounds” to believe they have the virus. Failing to abide by the order can lead to a fine up to $5,000 for an individual.

The store is now doing additional cleaning and disinfection. It’s also working with the health unit to assess the risk to other staff. The health unit is doing contact tracing for the affected worker.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis says, while the risk to the public is low, they are notifying people so they’re aware. He says people who went to the store should self-monitor for symptoms and seek testing if they develop symptoms.

The symptoms of novel coronavirus include a fever, worsening cough, sore throat and muscle aches.