A Market Basket employee has died after battling COVID-19, store officials say

Vitalina Williams worked at the grocery chain's Salem, Massachusetts, location, according to the company.

– AP Photo/Steven Senne

A Market Basket employee who worked at the grocery store chain’s Salem, Massachusetts, location has died after battling COVID-19, company officials said Tuesday.

“Vitalina Williams was a part-time Market Basket associate who served in our Salem store for eleven years,” Justine Griffin, a spokesperson for Market Basket, said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to her husband Dave, who is also a member of our Market Basket family.”

According to Griffin, Williams last worked at the store on March 26.

“We offer our support to her family and coworkers during this difficult time,” she said. “We have made counseling services available to any colleagues or family members in need.”

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The company has also confirmed two other associates at the Salem store have tested positive for the coronavirus and have quarantined themselves and those they were in close contact with, Griffin said.

“We have reported this information to public health officials and followed their guidance and have brought in a specialized cleaning crew to clean and disinfect the store, as an added precaution,” she said in the statement.

The grocery store chain has continually refined health safety and sanitation protocols as the region grapples with the impacts of the global pandemic.

Last week, Market Basket began limiting the number of customers allowed in stores at a given time, designating a single entrance and exit, and sanitizing each cart as they are handed out to customers.

The company has also rolled out a “heightened disinfection program” targeting high-touch surfaces and is in the process of installing Plexiglass shields on checkout aisles and securing a supply of masks for employees, officials said.



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