Trader Joe’s Closes For COVID Cleaning

When it comes to coronavirus precautions, Trader Joe’s is one of the most scrupulous stores in town.

They diligently limit the number of shoppers. The “one-way” aisles are clear, as is the rigorous, keep-your-distance checkout procedure.

Yet late this afternoon, a sign on the door notified customers: “Temporarily Closed for Cleaning.”

(Photo courtesy of Westport Front Porch/Facebook)

An employee — er, “crew member” — tested positive for COVID-19, the sign says. “As soon as the store has been fully cleaned and restocked, we plan to reopen.”

The note adds that the employee was “last present in the store” on April 14 — in other words, today.

Trader Joe’s encourages customers with health-related concerns to contact their healthcare provider with questions.

19 responses to “Trader Joe’s Closes For COVID Cleaning

  1. Leslie M. Hahn

    Wowza! I have only shopped in darien so far. Wiped down the swimmers!!


  2. Jo Shields Sherman

    I hope the exposure to others was limited and that the crew member is someone who will recover completely.

  3. Nancy Cleveland

    I was under the impression that an individual was only tested if they were exhibiting symptoms. If so why would this person be working and putting others at risk? I certainly hope he ir she will be ok and hopefully others were not infected

  4. This news is terribly distressing and represents corporate arrogance and gross negligence breathtaking irresponsibility on the part of the “crew member”. Obviously, their “crew member” was tested for a reason. This person would not have been eligible for a test unless they were presenting with Covid symptoms. What were they doing in that store? Should He/she not have been furloughed or asked not to work until the results were known? I was at the store today. I need to know whether I was within six feet of their infected employee. I have been imperiled by this outrageous conduct and am concerned and frightened for myself, my family and all others who were unfortunately exposed today.

    • Toni Simonetti

      You have no idea of the circumstances of this person’s positive test. Don’t be so quick to judge and shame others. Anyone of us could be asymptomatic, or unexpectedly find out someone close to us has tested positive and transmitted the virus. I commend all those who are putting themselves in harm’s way to help keep the rest of us fed and comfortable. A single customer, such as yourself, poses a risk to every one of those crew members.

      • Clearly you missed the point. The person was tested and awaiting the results, which by definition means they were aware of a) direct exposure to a positive case or b) was symptomatic enough to be given a test.
        That person came to work KNOWING that there was significant risk of spreading the disease.
        Furthermore it is mandated to self quarantine until definitive test results are issued.
        Do you not see the distinction?

        While I too commend all of those who put themselves in harms way to “keep us fed and comfortable” this individual’s actions were unconscionable and put his coworkers and our community at risk.

  5. Bill Strittmatter

    As nice as cleaning the store is, as well as informing everyone that may have been at the store today, can they also let folks know what other days the individual has worked over the past week so everyone they may have exposed have been warned.

    Further, are all of the “crew members” that have been in contact with the individual over the past week now self quarantining (or at least not working) for the next two weeks as they may not inadvertently be super spreaders?

  6. I understand that the Trader Joe’s in Fairfield was also closed for the same reason.

  7. Bob Weingarten

    Trader Joe’s is the best example of a store that cares for its shoppers. There appears to be no other large supermarket in the area that has limited clients, mapped a floor plan to avoid interaction with other shoppers, insured that there is no waiting at checkout. Each day they have stocked their shelves while other supermarkets still have lots of empty shelves.

    They were honest enough to tell us about a confirmed COVID-19 case and closed the story for cleaning. Rather then criticize them, we should complement them for their honesty and efforts to attempt to prevent any spreading of the COVID-19.

    • Bill Strittmatter

      You are absolutely right. What happened has happened.

      But, now, their “efforts to attempt to prevent any spreading of COVID-19” is the critical issue. If any “crew members” that were exposed to the unfortunate person (and thus already potentially infected but asymptomatic carriers themselves) are allowed to work in the store over the next 14 days, those efforts are almost certainly a FAIL.

      Those exposed should all be given two weeks off (with pay) and self quarantine themselves. Anything short of that is playing Russian roulette with their crew members and patrons health and, potentially, lives.

      Probably anyone that shopped there and had close contact over the past week should do the same if they can be identified.

    • Toni Simonetti

      Totally agree.

  8. We have no idea what the circumstance were surrounding the “crew member“ testing positive. And you can bet that that employee most likely got it from a customer. The reality is we are probably exposed to asymptotic or pre-symptomatic people every time we enter a store. Assume that it’s everywhere and behave accordingly, but let’s not blame someone who I’m sure would never intentionally harm a customer. Trader Joe’s employees are among the warmest, most cheerful and helpful people I’ve ever encountered, and surely under a ton of stress, exposed as they are, to potentially infected people all day long.

    • Bill Strittmatter

      No question we should all behave as if anyone around us may be a carrier at this juncture. And you are probably right that they quite possibly got it from a customer. Probably not their fault that they have it.

      However, I was under the impression that anyone that experiencing symptoms or receiving a test because they potentially have the virus is told to self quarantine until results are in which does beg the question why the individual was there today and/or what lapse of policy allowed that to happen (unless they are now using instant tests on asymptomatic people). Still, that’s up to Trader Joe’s to investigate and take whatever action with respect to their employees that they feel appropriate and not for us to judge.

      What they do now, is.

  9. We were there in the 13th so more than likely saw the employee. We will return as soon as they reopen. They allow only a certain number of people in the store and do their best to minimize close contact among shoppers. We wear masks. The cart handles are cleaned by the store. What more can they do? Those friendly people are doing us a favor. I make sure to thank them for continuing to work. How can the company send them all home for two weeks and stay open. Come on people. If we want food, this store provides what we need in an environment that is as safe as possible. There are NO guarantees. I feel the same way about Stews.

    • Bill Strittmatter

      What can they do? Helpfully, there is guidance from the CDC (at least on what their individual employees should do):

      If you feel healthy but:

      Recently had close contact with a person with COVID-19

      Steps to take: Self Quarantine

      Check your temperature twice a day and watch for symptoms.
      Stay home for 14 days and self-monitor.
      If possible, stay away from people who are high-risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.

      So, I suppose, reopen with those employees that did not have “close contact” and are still willing to show up for work. And actively monitor their health.

    • Elina Lublinsky


  10. Eilene Brostoff

    These are essential workers who are doing us a favor by working. If the criticizers don’t want to take a risk, they shouldn’t go to the store at all. Many people I know are doing just that. We cannot criticize Traders because the employee got exposed. They see 100’s of people a day and are out there working and stocking so we all have food. I have every confidence that Trader Joes is following all pertinent guidelines. Thank you to all crew members who continue to work for us every day.

  11. i am going to take a guess that there are probably dozens of positive shoppers and employees in every single grocery store every single day!