Kmart shuts down for 24 hours after confirming ‘several associates’ positive for COVID-19

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In a statement to PNC News, Kmart’s PR representatives in Illinois confirmed what had been rumored on Guam for several days: they have several associates who’ve tested positive for COVID-19.

In the statement, Larry Costello, the PR Director for Kmart and Sears, says Kmart provides essential services to the Guam community, particularly because they operate Kmart Pharmacy.

“We care deeply about the health and well-being of our associates and customers. We take our responsibility to provide a safe shopping environment for the community seriously and we are committed to following and exceeding CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19,” he said.

In the statement, the mega box-store says, “the Guam store recently has had several associates test positive for COVID-19. These associates and the associates that worked closely with them are now quarantining as per CDC guidelines.”

When asked how many employees tested positive, Costello said he could not disclose any information about associates.

As a result of the recent positives, Kmart says it has been closing the store on a daily basis from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. to sanitize and conduct deep cleanings of the facility.

However, PNC News has asked for clarification from Costello as to when “daily basis” actually began, since last Friday (with allegations running high on Guam social media) is the first many had heard of the 2-hour overnight closure. 

Out of an abundance of caution, Kmart says it is closing the store at 11 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 12th to conduct an even deeper cleaning and sanitization of the store. The store will re-open at 11 a.m. on Tuesday Oct. 13th.

Kmart shutting down for 24 hours of COVID-19 ‘deep cleaning and sanitization’ 

In their statement, the department store says that officials from the Department of Public Health & Social Services (DPHSS) have “visited the Kmart location in Guam twice in the past few days and inspected the store for use of masks and social distancing and they are satisfied with the cleanliness of the store and adherence to CDC guidelines. DPHSS officials also are conducting contact tracing.”

The major retailer says since early spring 2020, all Kmart stores, including the Guam location, have followed CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19. Below are details on steps they say they’ve taken to ensure Kmart Guam, “is safe for our associates and the residents of the island”:

  1. The store is limited to 50% capacity allowing for social distancing
  2. All associates are required to complete a health screening and temperature check before entering the store
  3. All store associates are required to wear masks
  4. Each day, associates sanitize all touchpoints on the sales floor
  5. We have increased staff to sanitize restrooms and breakrooms, per CDC guidelines
  6. At the store entrance, Kmart associates provide masks for all customers who need them, take the customer’s temperature, and provide hand sanitizer
  7. Shopping carts are sanitized before being used by customers
  8. Social distancing is encouraged via signage and floor markers
  9. Plexiglas shields are installed at checkout registers
  10. Cashiers sanitize registers between customers
  11. Fitting rooms have been closed to the public
  12. The restaurant seating area is closed to the public
  13. Our management team conducts daily unannounced audits to verify compliance with CDC guidelines
  14. Breakrooms have been configured to accommodate socially distanced seating for over 300 associates
  15. A dedicated supervisor is responsible for COVID-19 compliance and cleaning protocols
  16. We communicate daily with associates to review cleaning protocols and to ensure they understand the importance of compliance

Read Kmart’s full statement below:

KMART IS COMMITTED TO PROVIDING A SAFE SHOPPING ENVIRONMENT FOR GUAM RESIDENTS

Kmart provides essential services to the Guam community, particularly because we operate Kmart Pharmacy, with specialty drugs not found elsewhere on the island. We care deeply about the health and well-being of our associates and customers.  We take our responsibility to provide a safe shopping environment for the community seriously and we are committed to following and exceeding CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19.

The Guam store recently has had several associates test positive for COVID-19. These associates and the associates that worked closely with them are now quarantining as per CDC guidelines.

As a result, we have been closing the store on a daily basis from 2 a.m.-4 a.m. to sanitize and conduct deep cleanings of the facility. Out of an abundance of caution, we are closing the store at 11 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 12th to conduct an even deeper cleaning and sanitization of the store. The store will re-open at 11 a.m. on Tuesday Oct. 13th.

Please note that the pharmacy currently has limited hours of operation. We encourage members who have an urgent prescription need to contact the pharmacy immediately.

Current Pharmacy Hours:

Mon – Fri 5 to 9 pm
Sat – 9 to 1
Sun – 10 to 6

Officials from the Department of Public Health & Social Services (DPHSS) have visited our Kmart location in Guam twice in the past few days and inspected the store for use of masks and social distancing and they are satisfied with the cleanliness of the store and adherence to CDC guidelines. DPHSS officials also are conducting contact tracing.

Since early spring 2020, all Kmart stores, including our Guam location, have followed CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19. Below are details on steps we have taken to ensure the Kmart store in Guam is safe for our associates and the residents of the island.

  1. The store is limited to 50% capacity allowing for social distancing
  2. All associates are required to complete a health screening and temperature check before entering the store
  3. All store associates are required to wear masks
  4. Each day, associates sanitize all touchpoints on the sales floor
  5. We have increased staff to sanitize restrooms and breakrooms, per CDC guidelines
  6. At the store entrance, Kmart associates provide masks for all customers who need them, take the customer’s temperature, and provide hand sanitizer
  7. Shopping carts are sanitized before being used by customers
  8. Social distancing is encouraged via signage and floor markers
  9. Plexiglas shields are installed at checkout registers
  10. Cashiers sanitize registers between customers
  11. Fitting rooms have been closed to the public
  12. The restaurant seating area is closed to the public
  13. Our management team conducts daily unannounced audits to verify compliance with CDC guidelines
  14. Breakrooms have been configured to accommodate socially distanced seating for over 300 associates
  15. A dedicated supervisor is responsible for COVID-19 compliance and cleaning protocols
  16. We communicate daily with associates to review cleaning protocols and to ensure they understand the importance of compliance

About Kmart
Kmart is a leading integrated retailer offering quality products through a portfolio of exclusive brands that include Jaclyn Smith, Joe Boxer, Route 66 and Smart Sense. Kmart is part of Shop Your Way, a rewards shopping platform where members can earn points and receive benefits both in stores and online. Kmart is also home to Kmart Pharmacy, which features best-in-class patient care for its members and customers. Kmart is a proud corporate partner of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. For more information, visit the Kmart website at www.kmart.com.

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