Grocery store employee who contracted COVID-19 didn't know they had been tested, family says
CORNWALL -- The family of a grocery store worker who tested positive for COVID-19 in Cornwall says the employee was unaware they were being tested for the virus.
The individual works at the Food Basics on Cornwall’s Brookdale Avenue. The Eastern Ontario Health Unit put the public on high alert, revealing the employee continued to work even after developing symptoms.
“The individual started to develop symptoms on April 15th and was tested for COVID-19 on April 17th; the result was confirmed on April 18th. After receiving the test result, the employee immediately left work and entered isolation,” the health unit said in a statement Saturday night.
In addition to April 15 and 17, the employee also worked on April 13, 14 and 16.
A woman who says she’s a relative of the infected person told CTV News Ottawa the individual did not know they had coronavirus when they returned to work.
“They were told it was 100 per cent strep, if not mono, but the patient was past the contagious stage for both. They never said anything about having to be isolated, COVID, anything like that. No paperwork was given,” the source said.
The Cornwall Community Hospital’s president and CEO said the case has been reviewed, but she can’t comment on the details of any specific patient case.
“This case has been reviewed and we have identified opportunities to improve our processes to ensure that all patients receive important information prior to leaving the emergency department,” Jeanette Despatie said in a statement.
“While we have a detailed package of information and instructions for patients suspected of COVID-19, we regret that this was not provided to this patient.
Despatie said given protective measures in place, there is no risk of exposure at the hospital from the patient’s visit.
The EOHU says all recommended health measures were in place throughout the days the employee worked.
“Although we feel that the risk to the public is low, we’re releasing this information so that shoppers who were at the Brookdale Food Basics during this period are aware,” said Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health. “As a precaution, shoppers who were at the store on these dates should self-monitor for symptoms. If they start to feel symptoms, they should seek testing.”
Testing is offered at a number of COVID-19 assessment centres in the region. Locations and hours of the assessment centres are available on the EOHU’s website.
Anyone presenting with symptoms, who was at the store on the dates above, should indicate to the assessment centre that they were potentially exposed.