Employees at Lowe’s in Columbus upset at management after employee tests positive for COVID-19

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Lowe’s Employees who wanted to remain anonymous, said the person who tested positive for the coronavirus, made it known she was experiencing symptoms.

And from that moment, employees said managers should’ve immediately closed the store.

“She got a text message from the lady herself and she was telling her you know that she had the corona she had corona and she’s going to be out for a while,” said an employee.

“It was something that I felt that could’ve been prevented because you know once it got out to the employees that this employee did have it she was showing symptoms weeks now and she stopped coming to work and when the word made it back to the management, they just completely deny the rumor,” another employee added.

Columbus Mayor Robert Smith said his office started receiving calls claiming that store supervisors were trying to keep the positive COVID-19 test under wraps.

“An anonymous person called to my office and talked to my secretary and asked her if she would pass this word on to me that a person was tested positive for the coronavirus and that the supervisor hadn’t passed it on to the employees,” said Smith.

Smith said he then notified Columbus police. The store manager admitted to an officer that an employee did test positive Tuesday.

Smith said Lowe’s must clean the store, according to CDC guidelines.

“I agree that if they follow through with it what they agreed to they need to open back up tomorrow morning at regular time which is at 6 o’clock,” said Smith.

Thursday evening, Lowe’s released the following statement to WCBI:

The well-being of our associates and customers is Lowe’s priority, and we can confirm one case of COVID-19 at our Columbus store, located at 2301 Woodmont Dr. The associate has been quarantined and is receiving care. This associate last worked on March 31. The store has been extensively cleaned per CDC guidelines and will reopen tomorrow at 6 a.m.

Below are measures we’re taking in stores that were announced today. Lowe’s also announced a temporary $2 an hour wage increase for all full-time, part-time and seasonal hourly associates for the hours they work at Lowe’s stores, contact centers and supply chain facilities in the U.S. and Canada for the month of April. The press release is linked here if you’d like to read our latest updates.

  • We will be closing all stores at 7 p.m. daily to ensure additional time to replenish essential products and thoroughly clean and sanitize our stores daily.
  • We developed an app to implement a new customer limit protocol, available now on associates’ handheld devices. Each store manager can now monitor foot traffic and limit entrance based on CDC and local guidelines.
  • We are enhancing our social distancing protocols by adding dedicated social distancing ambassadors who will be responsible for monitoring customer flow in our garden centers and front-end areas and enforce customer limits to allow proper social distancing.
  • We also made substantial updates to our store floor layouts to further support the CDC’s guidelines for social distancing, such as opening up aisle space by removing displays. These changes will make it easier for both associates and customers to get the items they need quickly and safely. Specific examples include:
    • Removed product from the main aisle to help maintain safe distance. 
    • Removed racking and tables in other aisles to open up space.
    • Expanded the area for customers leveraging our Buy Online, Pick Up In Store option or making a return
    • Added floor markers spaced 6-feet apart to help guide customers
  • We have installed customized Plexiglass shields at all points of sale to protect our cashiers and customer service associates working the return desk, one of the first retailers to do so.
  • We increased third-party cleaning shifts to provide incremental cleaning in our stores, beyond already enhanced daily cleaning efforts.
Categories: Coronavirus Information, Local News

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