Mother says teen believed to have COVID-19 still pressured to work at suburban grocery store

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A mother, who believes her teenage daughter has COVID-19, claims the teen is being pressured to work at a suburban grocery store, even as the family self-quarantines.

The mother, who wanted to remain anonymous, contacted WGN News with concerns. She said a week and a half ago, her daughter started getting sick. Her fever spiked at 101.9, and she had body aches and a sore throat.

Within a few days she passed it on to her brother and her mother.

Her mother called the health department and was on hold for three hours. She said she was then was told only the critically ill were being tested.

She kept her daughter home and the family is self-quarantining.

But now she is worried her daughter will lose her job.

“The manager said it would not be an excused absence unless she had a positive test,” she said. “But it’s impossible to get a test right now.”

Jewel sent a press release to WGN News outlining the steps they are taking to stop the spread of coronavirus, including installing plexiglass sneeze guards at all registers, service desks, pharmacy check stands and Starbucks terminals.

The store has gotten rid of soup and salad bars and is asking customers to socially distance themselves by staying two carts apart.
But the mother says her daughter’s store is not providing personal protective equipment like gloves or masks to employees and she’s worried about their safety on the job.

In the press release from the Jewel Corporate office, they said employees should not come to work if they’re sick. But the mother of the teen said her daughter’s boss said the absences would not be excused unless she had a positive test.


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