August 27, 2021: Positive COVID Test and Health/Safety Protocols
Dear Coop Members,
On Friday, August 27, the Coop was notified that a member who shopped on Thursday, August 26 between 1:00-2:00 p.m. tested positive for COVID-19. The member was only on the shopping floor including the shopping floor bathroom closest to the carts. However, the individual experienced symptoms and fell ill while in the Coop which is why we are bringing this matter to your attention.
Close contacts with this member have been notified of their exposure and advised to get tested as per NYC Department of Health guidelines. Nonetheless, if you shopped or worked at the Coop during this period, it is possible that you were exposed to COVID-19.
The NYC Department of Health and the CDC advise that the risk from exposure is low for anyone who is fully vaccinated and masked. Since the individual infected with COVID-19 was located only on the shopping floor for the one hour they were in the building, the risk from exposure is particularly low for anyone who was not on the shopping floor during this time.
That said, individual risk factors and comfort levels differ. You may want to get tested or consult a healthcare provider or the NYC Department of Health if you were at the Coop on Aug. 26 between 1:00-2:00 p.m. and 1) are unvaccinated, 2) have increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, 3) live with someone who has increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, or 4) are simply concerned. If you were present on Thursday and have experienced any symptoms known to be associated with COVID-19, please get tested immediately.
We realize that this news is likely unsettling, whether you were at the Coop yesterday or not. We have all experienced a tremendous amount of uncertainty and upheaval over the course of the past 18 months. After the decrease in positivity rates and hospitalizations in NYC earlier this summer, we now face the reality of increased infections due to the Delta variant and rare occurrences of breakthrough infections.
HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS
The Coop mask mandate remains fully in effect for all adults who are shopping or working and all children ages 2 and over. This mandate includes members who are working a shift outside. If you arrive at the Coop without a mask, we will provide you with one. Please read the safety protocols and operational guidelines, including the full Coop face mask policy, posted on foodcoop.com: https://www.foodcoop.com/coronavirus/
We also want to take this opportunity to remind members that you are not to eat or drink while shopping or working at the Coop. If you need to eat or drink, please step outside and away from the entrance to do so. Finally, the NYC Department of Health and the CDC recommends mask wearing, even outdoors, if you do not know the vaccination status of people around you. For this reason, the Coop strongly recommends anyone sitting on the bench outside remain fully masked to reduce the risk of transmission.
Please do not come to the Coop to shop or work if, at any time, you experience symptoms known to be associated with COVID-19. We ask that all who experience such symptoms, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, receive a negative PCR test result before returning physically to the Coop. For more information on Covid symptoms please consult the CDC https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html
Thank you to our staff and members for taking the right precautions to keep each other safe. All of us play an important role in keeping the Coop community healthy. We are committed to providing a quality place to work and shop for our staff and members. We thank you for your continued support and dedication and we look forward to seeing you at the Coop.
Ann Herpel, General Coordinator
On behalf of the General Coordinator team