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Area Health Expert Gives Guidance On How Shoppers Should React After Employees At Grocery Stores Test Positive For Coronavirus

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Every day, there are more and more reports of businesses with employees who are testing positive for COVID-19.

How you react to that information and what you are supposed to do has been a pressing question for shoppers who have patronized these businesses.

For some, it's very important to know, while others don't find it to be so urgent.

Giant Eagle informed KDKA over the weekend that an employee at its McIntyre Square location in McCandless had tested positive for Coronavirus, but foot traffic at the store on Monday seemed like business as usual.

Like in most of the cases we have seen, the store announced the steps that it had taken.

Customers were coming and going as usual, but they were very much aware of the report.

"I mean, as far as the grocery store goes, there is no getting around it. I feel for them and the employees, but I shop here all the time. I know they have done their best to keep us all safe. It's just the nature of our world right now to just keep going," said Tina Norman of McCandless.

Randy Coleman of Oakland said that it wouldn't deter him from going to a business. He says he would just wear his mask and encourage others to wear their masks to protect one another.

Suzanna Masartis of McCandless said that it would not stop her from shopping there either. She said that she is trying to support local businesses, particularly local restaurants and locally-owned grocery stores like Giant Eagle.

"I think I would be more cautious, but as long as I know the business is doing everything they can, there's only so much we can do," said Max Keisler, of Mt. Washington.

KDKA's John Shumway took the question about how concerned people should be to a local medical expert, asking what advice and guidance he would give.

Allegheny Health Network's Dr. Brian Lamb spoke with KDKA's John Shumway via Zoom about how the public should react when finding out that employees and team members from local stores have tested positive for COVID-19.

"Most places, when they do have an employee who tests positive, they probably have some sort of protocol in place, "said Dr. Lamb.

"We are fourth months into the epidemic at this point and a lot of places do have plans in place if someone tests positive," Dr. Lamb went on to say.

Dr. Lamb also said that we are going to see more occurrences of this as the pandemic goes on.

While Dr. Lamb urged that making sure that a business has a plan and protocol in place is important, he also said that things like curbside pickup and contactless delivery and good alternatives for those who may be concerned.

KDKA's John Shumway then asked Dr. Lamb about the likelihood of coming in contact with an employee while shopping.

"We talk about the '3 and 3 rule,' which is based on being less than 3 feet apart than someone for more than 3 minutes," Dr. Lamb said.

Dr. Lamb went on to say that when exercising social distancing, one shouldn't be within those distances of people while shopping.

Dr. Lamb also mentioned the importance of wearing masks, mentioning that when an employee and customer are both wearing masks, the likelihood of spread is relatively small.

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