Trader Joe’s on 14th Street NW in DC temporarily closes due to COVID-19

People wait in a line to get into a Trader Joe’s on 14th Street NW on April 1, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Getty Images/Drew Angerer)

The Trader Joe’s grocery store in D.C.’s U Street corridor is temporarily closed after an employee tested positive for COVID-19, the company announced Wednesday.

The store, at 1914 14th St. Northwest, shuttered for additional cleaning. The employee who tested positive was last in the store on April 5, according to the company.

Trader Joe’s is also temporarily closing locations in New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Washington state. There’s an upcoming closure at a Louisiana location.

“At Trader Joe’s, there is nothing more important to us than the health and safety of our crew members and customers,” the company said in a statement. “With this in mind, we have temporarily closed some stores related to coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns, including for additional precautionary cleaning and sanitization.”

Trader Joe’s said it pays employees for their scheduled shifts while stores are closed.

Grocery store workers are on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic as food stores deemed essential stay open around the D.C. region. But that can put many of these employees at risk of infection.

Earlier Wednesday, NBC Washington reported that a Giant Food employee at a Largo, Maryland, location died last week due to coronavirus complications.

“I mean it’s unprecedented,” a man who has worked in grocery stores for 12 years told NBC Washington. “That kind of hit home because I’m saying, that could have been me or one of my co-workers that works directly next to me.”

“Are we essential or are we really sacrificial?”

And also last week, The DCist reported that a Giant Food employee tested positive at the Columbia Heights location.

Giant, Safeway and Kroger introduced additional measures, such as limiting customers and having one-way aisles, this week for better social distancing.

Under a new order announced Wednesday by Mayor Muriel Bowser retail food sellers must inform customers that they need to wear a mask.

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Teta Alim

Teta Alim is a Digital Editor at WTOP. Teta's interest in journalism started in music and moved to digital media.

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