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Mass. Walmart Stores Temporarily Close After Employees Test Positive For The Coronavirus

Update: The Walmart stores in Avon, Abington and Quincy have reopened after testing and cleaning measures.

Three Walmart stores across the state have temporarily closed after a number of employees tested positive for the coronavirus and one worker in Quincy died.

Walmart stores in Quincy, Avon, and Abington have shut their doors and do not have a date scheduled to reopen, according to a statement from Walmart public relations.

The Quincy Board of Health said 85 of about 212 of the Walmart employees have been tested. Of those, 27 tested positive for the virus.

This includes the death of 69-year-old Yok Yen Lee who was rushed to the hospital on April 20, according to a report from the Boston Globe. Lee died on May 3.

Both Avon and Abington stores shuttered on May 6, according to the Avon Board of Health. Abington's location is shutting down for the second time.

“Since the temporary closure of our Abington store we have been made aware of at least one new case of COVID-19. In Avon, we’ve seen the impact in the local community, which has also been felt in our store," Eddie Bostic, Walmart regional general manager for Massachusetts, said in a statement. "The nature of this virus makes it nearly impossible to track the source of anyone’s infection, so we are planning to work with health officials to review our measures, and determine additional steps, such as COVID-19 testing for associates and others who work at the store."

This comes on the heels of a Walmart in Worcester that had 81 of its employees test positive for COVID-19. The Worcester store closed on April 29, but has reopened for business on May 5, according a statement from the city of Worcester.

"A city inspection of the store [on May 4] revealed that all benchmarks that were ordered have been met," the city said in its statement.

Those benchmarks included a deep cleaning of the store by a third party vendor, testing of all Walmart employees, as well as proper signage with policies in place to address the need for PPE and social distancing.

"Periodic, unannounced inspections should be expected," the statement said. "Walmart must also report any new or suspected cases of COVID-19 to [the city department of public health] immediately."

This article was originally published on May 09, 2020.

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