The Hollywood supermarket known as Rock & Roll Ralphs has become the site of a coronavirus cluster, with 21 cases confirmed at the store. Of the non-residential community outbreak sites currently listed on the L.A. County Public Health Department’s website, the Sunset Boulevard grocery store had the largest number of cases.
Workers told NBC 4 that several employees have contracted the virus, among them customer service worker Jackie Mayoral, who says she tested positive on April 25. “This is something that nobody should ever have to go through,” she told NBC. “COVID-19 is emotionally and physically and mentally rough on my body.”
Ralphs says that the Sunset Boulevard location has been deep-cleaned twice since the outbreak, and as recently as Wednesday night.
The chain also says it began providing gloves to employees in mid-February, and is now also providing masks, while “high-touch” areas of their stores are cleaned every 30 minutes. They have installed plastic shields at checkout stands as well.
Ralphs spokesman John Votava confirmed to NBC that employees from several stores have tested positive, but would only say that the number of affected locations is in “the double digits.” According to Votava, Ralphs does not provide in-house testing as one grocery worker union is calling for, but says that workers can visit any L.A. County testing site.
Ralphs isn’t the only grocery store to appear on the health department’s list. A Covina Walmart Supercenter and a Northgate Market in San Fernado have also been impacted. As the health department’s website stresses, “inclusion on [the] list does not suggest neglect or wrongdoing on the part of the facility.”
Still, ailing grocery worker Mayoral urges everyone to be as cautious as possible when grocery shopping. “Please make sure your cart is sanitized, that you’re wearing gloves. That you’re wearing a mask,” she told NBC 4. “Don’t be oblivious to this, it’s everywhere.”
Note: A previous version of this article quoted yesterday’s statistics; it has been updated with the latest number of confirmed cases as of May 1.
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