MONROVIA (CNS) - Monrovia-based Trader Joe's announced Thursday that 1,250 of its 53,000 employees nationwide tested positive for COVID-19 within the past eight months, with two deaths reported in which coronavirus was suspected of being a contributing factor.
The neighborhood grocery store chain -- which has 514 stores in 42 states and Washington, D.C. -- said the rate of its workers who have been infected during the pandemic is about 2.4%.
"We believe that the results in virtually all areas are below the average rates of positive cases in each community where we have stores," Trader Joe's said in a statement which noted that 95% of the employees who tested positive and completed a quarantine period have recovered and chosen to return to work.
The company said that 24% of its stores have had no positive COVID-19 cases reported among employees, with 83% of its stores having had zero to four cases reported among workers.
No further information was released.
"The health and safety practices and procedures that have been put in place, and that continually evolve, have been effective because of the great work done by our crew members in every store, every day. We appreciate our crew members' diligence and our customers' patience as we work each day to make our stores safe for everyone," said Jon Basalone, Trader Joe's President of Stores.
The grocery chain noted in its statement that recent news stories have detailed the number of positive COVID-19 cases among grocery store workers and that it believes it's "important to our crew members and customers to share and understand what has happened in our stores from the beginning of the pandemic through Oct. 31."
Trader Joe's said it has prioritized creating a "safe working and shopping environment every day" and ``developed and continued to develop effective procedures that meet or exceed guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to safeguard the health and safety of employees and customers.