Washington Lowe’s confirms COVID-19 case
Published 4:00 pm Monday, May 11, 2020
A representative from Lowe’s Home Improvement confirmed Monday that an employee at the hardware chain’s Washington location has tested positive for COVID-19.
“We have confirmed a COVID-19 case of a Lowe’s associate at our Washington store, located at 1701 Carolina Avenue,” stated a company representative. “The associate has been quarantined and is receiving care. This associate last worked on May 4.”
Since stay-at-home restrictions were announced in March, stores such as Lowe’s have seen large crowds of customers. According to Beaufort County Health Director Jim Madson, however, the likelihood of contracting COVID-19 through casual contact at such an establishment is low.
“Close contact occurs when somebody is within six feet for 10 minutes or longer,” Madson said. “I don’t confirm or deny the Lowe’s location, but generally speaking, an area similar to that would be a low risk. Like with every case, we try to determine who has been in close contact and try to notify them of their risk and quarantine them. I would also say we should be cautious as individuals that just about anywhere we go in the county could have somebody (with the virus). That’s why you should practice social distancing, washing your hands and wearing a mask in public.”
According to the Lowe’s representative, the store has been cleaned thoroughly, in accordance with Centers for Disease Control guidelines, and associates who worked closely with the individual were placed on paid leave.
In addition, the Lowe’s representative said additional safety measures have been put in place at stores throughout the country, including;
- Enhanced social distancing protocols by adding dedicated social distancing ambassadors responsible for monitoring customer flow in garden centers and front-end areas and to enforce customer limits to allow proper social distancing;
- Made substantial updates to store floor layouts to further support the CDC’s guidelines for social distancing, such as opening up aisle space by removing displays to make it easier for both associates and customers to get the items they need quickly and safely;
- Developed an app to monitor store occupancy, allowing store managers to limit customer traffic when necessary to help enforce social distancing;
- Installed customized Plexiglass shields at all points of sale to protect cashiers and customer service associates working at the return desk;
- Added overhead announcements, store signage, floor markers, badges and customer and associate guidelines to emphasize the importance of social distancing.
Further details of the company’s precautions can be found at corporate.lowes.com/newsroom/stories/inside-lowes/responding-covid-19-serving-customers-and-associates-essential-products-and-services.