by Terry Rogers
On Saturday, October 3, Milford Wawa closed its doors to customers after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. The closure was to perform a deep cleaning of the entire store in order to protect employees and customers. The store reopened late Sunday evening.
“It is our policy to proactively close our stores for professional cleaning and disinfecting by a third party after being notified of an associate with a confirmed case of COVID-19 per CDC guidelines,” Jennifer Wolf, External Public Relations Supervisor for Wawa, said. “During the cleaning, we post a sign on the door including the last day the associate worked. We follow directives from the Department of Health and our own strong protocols for restricting any associates who may have had direct contact with the confirmed case.”
According to a link provided by Wolf, there are no Wawa stores closed at this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Wolf stated that the company has continuously enhanced protocols at stores to meet high standards of cleaning and sanitation. There is an Incident Preparedness Team that remains up-to-date on the latest information and protocols issued by health officials and monitor information from the Centers for Disease Controls (CDC) and other healthcare organizations. This team works in cooperation with the Quality Assurance and Safety Team.
Wawa implemented the Wawa Clean Force, training them to work at each store each day to keep Wawa clean, sanitized and safe. All associates are required to wear masks, clear plastic safety guards are installed at the checkout and food-service counters and wellness temperature checks are required before each associate begins their shift. The company implemented stricter hand washing protocols as well. Visual markers in the store help customers social distance and there are additional hand sanitizers in common areas.
“We have a strict policy prohibiting associates from working when they are sick or showing symptoms of any illness,” Wolf said. “We are also performing health checks along with temperature checks before each shift. We are enhancing our efforts to support our associates and their families as well. We have modified our attendance policy and now have a PTO Relief Program to be sure our associates have enough paid-time-off so that they may rest, relax and recover.”
In an effort to reduce customer traffic, Wawa stores offer delivery through GrubHub, DoorDash and UberEats in most areas. The service is available in Milford and some surrounding areas. Customers are also able to order through the Wawa app and pick up their food at the store.
“It is our strict policy to follow all state and local directives related to face coverings where our stores are located, requiring our customers to wear face coverings when in our stores” Wolf said. “We have placed signs inside and outside the store to remind customers of this requirement. We try to do all we can to enforce this directive, including having associates offer a free mask if someone does not have one. We also provide a handout that explains the requirements as well as the penalties for not complying to those who refuse.”