A Target employee at the Oxford Valley location in Middletown Township was confirmed as having COVID-19, store officials said in an e-mail exchange Saturday for the Minnesota based retailer.
On Friday evening, Lower Bucks Source was contacted by two separate independent sources, one having direct knowledge, a second having indirect information. Lower Bucks Source was able to confirm the reports with the retail outlet about an employee who they said was diagnosed with the virus.
Both sources spoke on the condition anonymity each sharing similar if not exact information Friday evening and night.
“We’re working in close partnership with local health departments and can share that a Target team member at our Langhorne store has a positive case of the coronavirus,” Target Spokesperson Shane Kitzman said.
The sources told LBS that employees were informed about their “team member” Friday night by store management, who briefed employees with the news near closing time.
Neither source shared identifying information about the individual confirmed to have the virus, but each said they were concerned about the public’s well being and whether or not Target would inform the public and share the information with county health officials.
People are getting sick and that’s a huge outlet and the way this was handled Friday night concerned me, the source said. I wasn’t sure the store was going to acknowledge the situation others have been exposed to. Has Target reached out to all those who potentially came into contact with this employee, said the source.
On Saturday Bucks County Spokesperson Larry King responded to LBS inquires about the then alleged case.
We don’t release information that would identify an infected individual or their workplace, King said due to Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA). If the entity or individual chooses to go public, that’s their decision, he said.
Kitzman in response to LBS inquires also said “Our top priority is the health and safety of our team members and guests, and we’re taking a number of steps to move forward. First, we’ve communicated directly with the impacted team member, who is in quarantine and following all health department guidelines, and we’ll pay them while they’re on leave. We’ve also worked quickly to deep clean and sanitize the store, which is the recommendation of public health experts. We have notified the entire store team and provided them with the appropriate CDC guidance. We’ll continue to first and foremost take care of our team and guests.”
Target announced last Wednesday it was making changes to its refund and return policies amid the outbreak.
“To be extra cautious… we will “…stop accepting in-store product returns and exchanges for the next three weeks,” the retailer said in a statement. Returns and refunds could be made “three weeks past the holding period.” the release said.
On Saturday Bucks County announced its first death due to COVID-19. A man in his 60’s with “underlying health issues”, a release said.
Residents of 36 Bucks municipalities have tested positive, with cases now reported in Bristol Borough and West Rockhill Township Saturday. Bucks County now has had 216 confirmed cases of COVID-19 while statewide there has been just under 3995 persons diagnosed with a total of 38 deaths statewide as of Sunday 4 p.m.
Editors Note: We have corrected two typos in this story. We apologize to Target Spokesperson Shane Kitzman for the error in misspelling his name. The acronym for Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act was also misspelled. (HIPAA). We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.