NEWARK, NJ —  Wakefern Food Corporation confirmed a staff member at the ShopRite store in Newark tested positive for the coronavirus over the weekend after a letter sent home to employees circulated on Facebook, prompting city residents to question whether their safety was at risk. 

On Saturday, Mayor Ras Baraka imposed a shelter-in-place order for three areas in the city identified as “hot spots” for the virus. The ShopRite is located in the Area 2 hotspot, but the employee who tested positive is not a Newark resident, according to Central Ward Councilwoman LaMonica McIver, who addressed the matter on Facebook. 

“Those workers that may have come in contact with the employee have been directed to self- quarantine and follow-up with their respective Healthcare Professional,” she said in a post. “The City of Newark’s Health Office and I have been in constant contact with ShopRite representatives about important measures to protect employees and residents who shop there.”

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Daniel Emmer, a spokesperson for Wakefern, the supermarket cooperative that owns the ShopRite brand, said ShopRite of Newark is adhering to CDC guidelines and implementing an enhanced deep cleaning process, which includes disinfecting all workspaces used by the associate and common areas.

The store will remain open and continue to follow all necessary guidelines as recommended by the CDC.

“We are proud of the amazing dedication our associates are demonstrating, and we thank them for their service to our customers in keeping stores open and shelves stocked with the essentials they need,” Emmer said. “We wish our associate well and a speedy recovery, and we thank our customers for their patience and continued support.”