Walmart, Starbucks and others face a new coronavirus challenge: Sick workers and fearful customers

by Melissa Repko

When workers start getting sick with coronavirus, it’s aggravated when these workers are in direct contact with customers. Uber, Walmart, and Starbucks have all reported workers tested positive with coronavirus.

These and other companies have instituted a variety of actions to help in the situation, including:

  • Starbucks and Dunkin have banned reusable mugs.
  • MacDonald’s is cleaning more frequently.
  • Taco Bell and Wendy’s are changing packaging to keep drivers from swiping fries.
  • Target is limiting purchases of hand sanitizer and other cleaning products.
  • Target is also wiping down checkout lanes and touchscreens every half-hour.

These are just publicized actions, with many companies taking all types of actions to either minimize personal contact or lower the risk of transmission of the virus. With case counts changing by the hour, it’s clear that though these actions may slow the rate of transmission, more people are bound to be infected.

The sheer size of companies and the number of locations will impact the number of interactions with customers. Actions they’re taking will slow the spread of the virus, but they will not stop it short, even by closing all of their stores.

These companies should be given credit for publicizing their employee infections. Even when personal interaction is minimized, products are handled when stocked or served. Starbucks, after reporting on employee’s infection, closed the store, did a deep clean, and reopened after some shuffling of personnel.

There’s lots more in this article about how companies are handling coronavirus-positive employees and customer interaction.

Read more here.

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