Whole Foods' New York employee tests positive for coronavirus

(Reuters) – A Whole Foods Market employee working at one of its grocery stores in New York City tested positive for the coronavirus and was placed in quarantine, a spokeswoman for the Amazon.com Inc-owned company said on Thursday.

The affected Whole Foods’ store in Columbus Circle, New York City, was closed early Wednesday for additional cleaning and disinfection, the spokeswoman told Reuters.

Amazon on Thursday reported its first case in the United States, after one of its associates in New York tested positive for the virus, forcing the company to shutter a small warehouse temporarily.

Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh continue to be operational nationwide, Amazon told Reuters, adding that deliveries have not stopped, but customers were being informed that deliveries may be limited due to increased demand.

As the virus spreads at a rapid pace across the United States, clothing retailers and department-store chains, including Macy’s, Nordstrom, Nike, Urban Outfitters, Abercrombie & Fitch and Lululemon, have shut stores.

However, certain services such as grocery stores, gas stations, pet stores and pharmacies have been allowed to stay open so far to minimize public disruptions.

The highly contagious coronavirus has infected more than 234,000 people across the world and the death toll currently exceeds 9,700.

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