Little contamination in grocery stores: the social distancing seems to work

Peu de contamination dans les épiceries: la distanciation sociale semble fonctionner

Few workers in grocery stores and other shops have been contaminated by the COVID-19 to date, suggesting that the measures of social distancing and disinfection work.

“We touch the wood because for the moment, it’s going relatively well,” said Roxane Larouche, a spokesperson for the Workers of the united food and commercial (UFCW).

Less than 200 cashiers and clerks have been infected with the coronavirus since the start of the crisis, at least among the approximately 35 000 members who work in a grocery store and what it represents.

“And we didn’t have cases in the intensive care unit.”

The Journal has also compiled the number of cases reported under the banners IGA, Metro, Super C, Adonis, 5 seasons and the First Harvest, which publish every day their data on the web.

To date, 130 of their employees in the branch were positive, distributed in 70 shops across the province.

The island of Montreal is in the lead with 54 cases of employees and 1 client infected for these banners, followed by Montérégie with 18 cases.

Surprisingly, it was the Gaspé, which comes in third place with 16 cases due to outbreaks in Paspebiac and New-Richmond.

No deaths

“It is the demonstration that social distancing works”, observes Jean-François Belleau of the canadian Council of the retail trade.

Difficult to have a global picture for all the shops of the Quebec, but the data is very positive : no deaths had been reported among its troops.

During this time, the case of health care workers, severely weakened by the virus to multiply. A patient care attendant 31-year-old is even dead at the end of April.


“To give health care, we do not have the choice to be in touch [close],” says Mr. Belleau. While the businesses have proven that it is possible to shop without contaminating the workers, he adds.

In addition, grocery stores have the advantage of close their doors at night. When a case is reported, an agency of sanitation may, therefore, come in and disinfect everything. These crews dressed in “Ghostbusters” enable “restart the counter to zero”, something that is impossible in the middle of the health, illustrates Ms. Larouche.

In general, the clients adhere to the guidelines, she adds. The fact remains that the workers regularly see consumers who are impatient or who leave behind their mask worn in the bottom of the basket once they have completed their shopping.

“There is not a region that can boast of not having customers [perfect]”, she summarizes.

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