A second employee at the Fruit Basket Marketplace in Quincy has tested positive for COVID-19 and the city continues to ask anyone who was in the store between Oct. 2 and Oct. 11 to contact them, especially if they are experiencing any symptoms.
The city alerted the public Monday on its Facebook account that a single case of COVID had been detected at the Granite Street store. City Health Commissioner Ruth Jones said in a telephone interview Tuesday that a second of the store’s four employees has now tested positive. Both employees worked between Oct. 2 and Oct. 11.
Jones said customers who were in the store for brief periods — less than 15 minutes — are not likely to have health concerns related to exposure to the employees. (If they feel symptomatic they should be tested, she stressed.)
Of greater concern, Jones said, are customers who were in the store for longer periods. “The people in there more than 15 minutes, those are the people that we recommend talk with their physician or go get tested” if they experience symptoms, Jones said.
Jones said the store employees have been following COVID-19 safety guidelines regularly since they were imposed by the Baker administration, and that it’s not known how the highly contagious disease infected first one, then two employees.
As part of the critical public health measure of contact tracing, the city is asking anyone at the store during those days to contact the Health Department at 617-376-1273, the city said. “The store is working with the Health Department on the issue, and will remain closed until further notice.”
Jones said the store, once it undergoes a decontamination, can reopen. But with just four employees impacted — the two other employees must self-quarantine — there is no one available to operate the store.
Meanwhile, the city is starting in-school instruction for students in grades 4 through 12 for the first time Wednesday, shifting away from an all-remote approach used at the start of the school year. The system will be using a hybrid model, Mayor Thomas Koch said Friday in an update on the city’s pandemic procedures.
Koch said the city has not lost a resident to COVID-19 in two months and that the community appears to be handling the pandemic wisely after a painful learning period in the spring.
“As we know, we have all gotten smarter dealing with this virus. We didn’t know really what we were confronting back in March,” he said. “Unfortunately, a lot of people lost their lives because they had an underlying health conditions or were in nursing homes, all kind of bunched together. We know now how we have to deal with things going forward.”
As of last Friday, the state listed Quincy at moderate risk status for COVID-19 spread.