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Co-op Covid-19 Public Service Announcement

Date: 12/16/2020

To Our Members & Community,

In the interest of transparency, we wanted to inform you that last night, Tuesday December 15, we learned that one of our employees tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Upon learning of the result, we followed protocols established under the Safe Start WA plan with guidance from the Thurston County Department of Health.  This employee was working on the retail floor at our Eastside store; they last worked at the Eastside store on Tuesday, December 8. They fell ill later in the evening on December 8, immediately self-quarantined at home as recommended by their healthcare professional, and has not visited a Co-op location since. To our knowledge, the employee never exhibited symptoms while at work.

The Olympia Food Co-op has identified all staff and working members who may have been in close contact with the affected person and is supporting workers as they self-monitor. Our Co-op has a generous sick and vacation policy, and we are working with staff members on a case-by-case basis to ensure they have the support they need and quarantine as appropriate. We ask that any worker exhibiting symptoms of respiratory illness or fever stay home, contact our Personnel department, and notify their physician.  We are following the recommendations for critical infrastructure employees for quarantine guidelines.

We have implemented rigorous daily cleaning practices throughout our store.  Since March, each work area has maintained a regular sanitation rotation, cleaning all common touch areas in all parts of the stores. We work to maintain increased fresh air ventilation by leaving doors and windows open whenever possible.  After hours, we pay extra attention to all common touch areas, shopping carts, bathrooms, offices, electronics and floors.

  • All workers are pre-screened for temperature and symptoms daily before work
  • All workers self-monitor throughout the day and go home if symptoms develop
  • All workers are required to wear approved face coverings at all times in the presence of others and to enforce face coverings requirements with our shoppers
  • Everyone in our stores is asked to maintain 6-foot physical distancing from others whenever possible and to stay behind plastic barriers at our registers
  • All common areas such as offices, bathrooms, and shared electronic equipment are sanitized and cleaned routinely throughout every day.
  • We have created outdoor break spaces at each store to reduce potential worker exposure

To learn more about the steps we are taking to address Covid-19, please visit our webpage about our covid 19 updates:

If you have any further questions, please contact us at

Thank you! We appreciate your support.


Q: I was in the store during the time an employee who tested positive for Covid-19 worked. Should I quarantine?

A: According to the CDC:

” Who Needs To Quarantine
What counts as close contact?

You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more
You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them)
You shared eating or drinking utensils
They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you “

While we believe that it is highly unlikely that you were within 6 ft of the employee for a total of 15 minutes or more, we recommend that you talk to your healthcare providers and follow their guidance.

Q: Are you alerting employees of their potential exposure?

A: Yes. We are following all CDC and Washington Department of Health guidelines. We alerted all workers, including our working members, of potential exposure as well as encouraged them to talk to their healthcare providers and take any appropriate next steps.

Q: Do employees get Covid testing?

A: We encourage employees to follow the recommendations of their healthcare providers and get testing as necessary. Our benefits include paid sick leave as well as free Covid testing.

Q: What are you doing to maintain 6ft distancing?

A: We do our best to encourage 6ft distancing by having signage and limiting customer count. We acknowledge that some crowding may be unavoidable. Because of this we also offer our curbside program. For more information please see our website.

Q: How do employees maintain appropriate Covid safety practices in offices and break rooms?

A: We encourage all workers to eat in their cars if able. In order to accommodate workers without cars we also have designated areas where a single individual may eat and break.

We limit staff in work spaces, have plastic curtain barriers between workstations, leave windows and doors open for ventilation, as well as require the wearing of approved face coverings.

Q: Are you still offering the curbside program?

A: Yes. We are currently offering the curbside program at the Eastside location. Please see our website for more details.