SEPTEMBER 25, 2020 – Walmart reached out to CFN via email and confirmed a second case of COVID 19 at their distribution centre.
“An associate from our Cornwall Regional Distribution Centre (RDC) has recently tested positive for COVID-19. We’re keeping the associate in our thoughts and wish them a speedy recovery. Out of an abundance of caution, associates identified as being in close prolonged contact have been directed to self-isolate. The associate last worked Sept. 15.
We conducted a deep cleaning. We are in contact with local public health.
Safety continues to be a top priority at Walmart. Rest assured, we will continue to take measures to support the well-being of our customers and associates, including:
• Increased enhanced cleaning throughout the facility.
• Wellness checks that include a temperature check for all associates at the start of each shift.
• Encouraging regular handwashing and physical distancing.
• Sanitization stations throughout the facility.”
CFN wishes all staff a healthy day and hope that those inflicted recover quickly. However many questions are still not being answered as the EOHU under Paul Roumeliotis is simply fumbling the ball.
It doesn’t appear that any enforcement has been occurring. Roumeliotis was quoted in the Standard Freeholder as stating:
“During his Monday media briefing, EOHU medical officer of health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis could not confirm the validity of the call and said he was unaware of any cases of the virus at the workplace.
“At this point, I can confirm that there was a case, but this individual was not contagious or infectious at the time when they were at work,” he said on Thursday. “There was not much else for us to do, just reviewing protocols with the employer. That’s all it was.”
Late Wednesday and into Thursday though, there were unverified reports on at least one Cornwall Facebook group of a second case at the Walmart DCs.
During his call, Roumeliotis also told media his health unit had not yet issued a ticket to any resident having violated the province’s gathering limit.
“Like I said before, it’s more about education than enforcement,” he said. “But we do have that capacity.”
Roumeliotis has blocked this newspaper from asking questions or participating in his pressers which mean real questions that need to be asked tend not to be asked. For example, does the EOHU have boots on the ground at both Walmart Centre’s that have been infected?
You can’t shop in any main grocery store in Cornwall without seeing clients and staff either not wearing a mask or wearing it under their nose.
As the second wave is here it’s time to enforce and hold stores accountable, especially as staff have stated at multiple stores that they have been told by their management not to confront people entering a business without a mask or correct them in the store which is a violation of EOHU posted policy.
In particular, the James and Jenn’s NO FRILLS has the worst record anecdotally including this writer being accosted yesterday after a non mask wearing client ignored social distancing in line, and when confronted was abusive, jumped the line past a senior on a disability scooter, and then continued abuse from the parking lot.
When spoken with afterwards, James, the Franchisee, stated that they were following EOHU policy, but sadly that doesn’t appear to be true with door staff citing that they have orders not to confront customers without a mask. As well when I asked for assistance in the store the young staffer said they were not allowed to confront customers over not wearing or improperly wearing face masks or social distancing.
With over 2000 clients daily according to James, that could lead to many infections as case numbers start to climb during the Second Wave and nobody wants to see stores closed.
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Store Management were hired to run retail operations and are on their companies payroll. We have not been hired or paid to do the jobs of the By-Law officers.
We are not paid to be accosted by anti maskers nor do we have any authority helping us to enforce these rules. We are constantly being threatened that we will be taken to court, filmed and place on social media for the viewing of the online judge and jury. They threaten to have us fired and we are than responsible to prove our case.
The EOHU and government make these lackluster rules and refuse to pay the proper people who have the authority to enforce them is putting all retail associates and public at risk. It is not the job of a poor 16 year shelf stocker to tell a pigheaded grown ass man to wear a mask and walk the right way down an ailes.
We have people that are paid to enforce the law let them earn their keep!