Manhattan Costco Store Remains Open After 2 Employees Test Positive for Coronavirus

A Costco store in Manhattan is still open despite two employees testing positive for COVID-19 — the coronavirus. Many customers are horrified to hear that the store they rely on has been exposed to the pandemic illness. Costco has still not commented on the controversy.

Costco opted to keep a Manhattan store open after two employees there tested positive for COVID-19, according to a report by Business Insider. The news outlet obtained an internal email for employees at the story, confirming that employees from the bakery department and the front end has been diagnosed with coronavirus. They were last in the store on March 16 and March 18, respectively.

"We and the entire Costco management team are prepared to help support employees during these serious and evolving times," the email read.

In the email, Costco outlined its response to the discovery of the two positive tests. That included taking guidance from the health department, ramping up sanitation efforts in the store and seeking out co-workers who were in contact with the infected individuals.

The letter did not mention any thoughts of closing the store, but only advised employees who felt sick to stay home. The employee who shared the email with reporters asked to remain anonymous.

So far, Costco has not responded to requests for comment on the Manhattan store. Reporters were unable to confirm whether the store had been closed for deep cleaning after the positive tests were revealed.

This news follows another report that at least three employees at Costco's corporate office in Issaquah, Washington have tested positive for COVID-19. Other stores around the country have had positive tests as well, and employees said that the workplace is generally frantic right now.

A recent study seems to have shed more light on how long COVID-19 can linger in the air and on different surfaces, such as the shelves and floor of a Costco store. According to MedRxiv, the virus can linger in the air for up to three hours, and can survive on plastic or stainless steel surfaces for two or three days.

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Still, the CDC stresses that the main way COVID-19 is transmitted is directly from person to person. The experts urge people to focus on social distancing as a means of protecting not only themselves, but the general populous from the spread of the virus.

For the latest on the coronavirus pandemic, visit the CDC's website.