CVS, Citizens offices disinfected after positive COVID-19 cases

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LINCOLN, R.I. (WPRI) — Two of Rhode Island’s biggest corporations confirmed Tuesday they have felt the direct effects of the coronavirus outbreak, as the number of confirmed or presumptive cases in Rhode Island rose to five.

The CVS office at 695 George Washington Highway in Lincoln has undergone deep cleaning after an employee tested positive for COVID-19, CVS spokesperson Michael DeAngelis said Tuesday.

Upon learning of the test results on Sunday, the company immediately implemented its infectious disease response protocols, according to DeAngelis.

“The office was disinfected and sterilized following our established protocols and CDC guidelines,” he wrote in a statement to Eyewitness News.

DeAngelis also said those who worked in close proximity to the employee have been placed under a cautionary quarantine for 14 days.

The R.I. Department of Health said the CVS employee is “not considered a Rhode Island case” of the virus, indicating the worker likely resides in Massachusetts or another nearby state. The individual’s home state is reaching out to people who were in contact with the employee.

Rhode Island had five positive cases of coronavirus as of Tuesday afternoon, after two more tests returned presumptive positive results. Massachusetts’ count rose to 92 on Tuesday, with the majority tied to a recent Biogen employee meeting.

Coronavirus: Latest Headlines, Map, Resources » | Track the number of cases in RI »

Meanwhile, Citizens Bank implemented similar precautions at its Johnston campus after learning a contractor who was training a “small number” of employees tested positive for COVID-19, spokesperson Rory Sheehan confirmed.

Sheehan said neither the contract nor the employees involved are currently displaying any symptoms but have been asked to self-quarantine as a precaution.

“Citizens is deeply committed to the welfare of our colleagues and customers alike and has detailed plans in place focused on protecting the safety of all involved,” Sheehan wrote in a statement. “Additionally, we have deep-cleaned the area where the contractor was working and continue to follow cleaning and sanitizing protocols set by the CDC across all our locations.”

The Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC) also announced Tuesday that a passenger exhibiting “flu-like symptoms” was removed from a flight at T.F. Green and taken to an area hospital.

The Southwest flight arrived from Orlando at 9:45 a.m., according to R.I. Department of Health spokesperson Joseph Wendelken.

“It is not unusual for passengers to become ill on flights and require assistance from healthcare professionals, however, given the nature of this situation, responding personnel employed health protocols recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Rhode Island Department of Health intended to assist the individual and prevent exposure to communicable diseases,” the RIAC said.

Gov. Gina Raimondo has urged Rhode Island employers not to penalize workers who are asked to self-quarantine. She held a conference call with business leaders on Tuesday to discuss the situation.

Anyone with questions regarding the coronavirus can call the R.I. Department of Health at (401) 222-8022 or visit the department’s website.

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