Nov 9, 2020
Twenty percent of workers at one grocery store in Boston tested positive for COVID-19, according to a study published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine. That was much higher than the prevalence in the community at the time of the study, which was only about 1%.
The study also found that 3 out of 4 of the employees showed no symptoms and 91% worked in a customer-facing role.
All of this shows the risks involved in something as basic and necessary as shopping for groceries, and for those who work in the stores. Grocery store workers can be carrying the virus and not even know it. It shows the importance of wearing masks and social distancing. It also gives a clear picture of how essential these workers are, and they should be treated as such, with plenty of testing, and enough staff, pay, and time off to make sure both workers and customers can be kept safe.