LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – An employee at Walmart in Hamburg has tested positive for the coronavirus the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department confirmed.
“We can confirm the case is an employee of a the Hamburg Walmart, but any specific details about the case/individual is protected under HIPAA laws. We have been in communication with that Walmart. This case is, of course, still in the investigation stages and there are many details we do not know yet,” the health department said in an e-mail.
The store is located on the Winchester Road end of the Hamburg retail complex.
“We appreciate the strong guidance of the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department and we have taken action to reinforce our cleaning and sanitizing measures, which include a thorough deep-cleaning of the entire store,” Anne Hatfield, director of corporate communications, said in a statement. “In addition we installed plexiglass sneeze guards at the checkout lanes and in the pharmacy area yesterday and we’ve added signage and floor decals to encourage social distancing to ensure the safety and well-being of our associates and customers. We will continue to assess the situation and take additional steps as needed.”
The company also announced a new nationwide policy effective Saturday.
“Effective Saturday, April 4, Walmart will be taking necessary steps to further promote social distancing and manage customer flow in all locations nationwide. This measure is intended to complement other recent changes to protect our associates and customers, including expanded cleaning and sanitization protocols, the installation of plexiglass guards at checkout and pharmacies, and floor decals and signage identifying appropriate social distancing. We remain focused on taking measures for associates to protect themselves while supplying the community with essential items for their families,” the company said.
It’s unclear how, when or if the employee began showing symptoms and in what department the employee works or last worked.
In early March as the coronavirus was just beginning to hit in Kentucky, an employee at the Walmart in Cynthiana tested positive, becoming the state’s first case.
At the time, the company stepped up cleaning procedures and began developing a variety of policies for sanitizing.
It also said employees who test positive will receive two weeks pay. If a staff member needs additional time, Walmart will offer replacement pay for up to 26 weeks for both full-time and part-time staff, the company said at the time.
The retailer also was offering up to two weeks pay to staff who work at stores, offices or distribution centers that may be part of a mandated quarantine.
Associates who are not feeling well are encouraged to stay home. Walmart is waiving its attendance policy for associates through the end of April, it said then.