Aurora Walmart allowed to reopen after order to close in wake of COVID-19 outbreak, 3 deaths

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AURORA, Colo. — A Walmart in Aurora closed after three people associated with the store died of COVID-19 amid an outbreak of the virus at the location has been given the green light to reopen.

The Tri-County Health Department announced it has permitted the Walmart Supercenter at 14000 East Exposition in Aurora to reopen Sunday.

The department, which serves Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties, said the Aurora store was cleaned and disinfected by a third party contractor over the weekend and has implemented an array of safety measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

Those measures include social distancing, signage throughout, enhanced metering of shoppers into the store, one-way traffic through isles, employee communication systems and usage of masks, and a robust employee illness screening and reporting process utilizing tools provided by TCHD.

The TCHD closed the Aurora Walmart location on Friday after an employee, her husband and a third-party contracted employee died of the novel coronavirus. There are 11 additional confirmed cases linked to the outbreak at the Aurora store. The majority of employees who tested positive have not been at work for more than a week, the TCHD said in a release.

The employee who died was a 72-year-old female. Her 63-year-old husband, who didn’t work for the store, also died. The third person to die — the third-party contracted employee — was a 69-year-old man. He worked for an independent security company.

Additionally, the TCHD said prior to them issuing an order to close Friday, they had received a series of complaints about the Exposition location regarding the lack of social distancing, too many people in the store at one time, and employees not wearing masks or face covering.

A Walmart spokeswoman said in a statement to Denver7, “We understand there may be questions about the precautions we are taking in our stores to keep our customers and associates safe. The company continues to implement extensive measures, which are already in place at our Aurora store.”