Members queue up at the Langley Costco in May of 2020. Four staff at the store tested positive for the coronavirus over two weeks in November, said an employee who did not want to be named for fear of losing their job (Langley Advance Times file)

Members queue up at the Langley Costco in May of 2020. Four staff at the store tested positive for the coronavirus over two weeks in November, said an employee who did not want to be named for fear of losing their job (Langley Advance Times file)

Four COVID cases in two weeks at Langley Costco

Staffer blames spike on relaxed enforcement of COVID-19 measures, says ‘it’s a zoo’

Four workers at the Langley Costco store tested positive for COVID-19 in just over two weeks in November, according to an employee of the store, who did not want to be identified for fear of losing their job.

Copies of company notices provided to the Langley Advance Times show that after the management of the store, located at 20499 64th Ave. in Willowbrook, reported one staffer tested positive in September, and another in October, there was a spike in November.

Four positive tests were reported in two weeks; on Nov. 11, 16, 24 and 25.

The notices all asked staff to “please continue to practice social distancing to the best of your abilities and good hygiene,” and advised they could use sick or personal time, vacation time or unpaid leave if they are concerned about being at work.

Managers at the store used to be strict about enforcing COVID guidelines that, among other things, limit the number of shoppers allowed in-store, but that is no longer the case, the source alleged.

“They’re letting anyone in. It’s a zoo.”

Costco Langley did not respond to a request for comment.

A manager who answered the phone at the Langley store told the Langley Advance Times they “could not confirm or deny” the report, and took a message that was not returned.

WorkSafe B.C., which enforces standards for COVID-19 precautions in the workplace, said an officer would be following up with Costco.

READ MORE: COVID-19: Costco to require face-shields for those medically exempt from wearing masks

Effective Nov. 16, Costco Canada began requiring all members to wear masks or face shields while shopping.

Children under two are exempt.

Costco CEO Craig Jelinek said member who used to be exempt because they had medical conditions that prevented them from wearing a mask, will have to wear a face shield.

“This updated policy may seem inconvenient to some, however we believe the added safety is worth any inconvenience,” Jelinek said.

“Our goal is to continue to provide a safe shopping environment for our members and guests, and to provide a safe work environment for our employees,” Jelinek added.

READ ALSO: Former B.C. pro hockey player frustrated with COVID-deniers after horrific bout with virus

Fraser Health Authority said every time there is a positive test in B.C., Public Health connects with anyone who may have come into contact with the case so they are aware and can be monitored for symptoms.

However, the agency does not identify the specific location of confirmed cases “unless Public Health cannot be certain they have reached all those who need to be contacted and who therefore might be a risk to the public,” the FHA said in a statement responding to a Langley Times Advance query concermning the Costco cases.

“We want people who have symptoms to contact us, and to feel safe contacting us, knowing their privacy will be protected so the steps to protect the health and safety for all can be taken. This is why privacy is important to everyone. It allows Public Health to do the work they need to do to keep everybody safe.”

When there may have been a public exposure and someone may have been exposed without us being able to identify them, Fraser Health may post a public exposure notification on its website to reach a larger audience.

“If a person has been in one of these locations [listed on the website] at the times of possible exposure, it does not mean they will develop COVID-19. The possible exposures listed on the public exposures webpage are believed to be low risk but, out of an abundance of caution, Public Health asks anyone who may have visited any of the locations listed on the specified dates and times to monitor themselves for symptoms.”



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

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