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Deadly Coronavirus Cluster At Quincy Walmart Discovered Through Contact Tracing

QUINCY (CBS) -- A Quincy Walmart shut down Monday after one worker died and several others tested positive for the coronavirus. There have been 11 confirmed coronavirus cases at the Falls Boulevard store. The employee who died is an elderly woman.

Shoppers showed up confused as they found the store locked up on Monday. "I am really concerned, so scary," said shopper Don Wu.

A sign read the store is closed for cleaning and re-stocking, but they quickly discovered it is due to coronavirus.

"So we better be very careful," said shopper Ramon Jimenez.

The Quincy Health Department started monitoring the store last week when 'contact tracing' led them to a Covid-19 cluster.

Quincy Health Commissioner Ruth Jones explained the situation to the city council during an online meeting. "They went into Walmart and then were not feeling well shortly after that," said Jones.

Jones said they worked with the store on social distancing and crowd control issues.

"I happen to come last week and it was so packed and such a zoo," said shopper Beth Lawless.

Walmart voluntarily closed the store mid-afternoon for cleaning and to test all employees. Right now 11 employees have tested positive, one of them an elderly woman, has died. Walmart released a statement saying in part: "There are no words to express the loss of our associate, and we are mourning alongside their family."

This is the third local Walmart to temporarily close. Worcester's Walmart closed last week. Of almost 400 employees there, 81 have now tested positive for the virus.

"I think it's quite possible they open tomorrow, I know our inspectional services folks have gone in there and it's been cleaned professionally," said Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty.

A sign at the Quincy Walmart says it will reopen May 8, but the city's health department will decide when that happens.

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