Major supermarket chains are reporting coronavirus-related employee deaths as grocery stores remain open due to the pandemic. According to The Washington Post, workers at Trader Joes, Giant, and Walmart in three different states have died in recent days due to COVID-19. A Trader Joe’s employee in New York with underlying health conditions died early Monday morning, and the store is reportedly closing until Thursday to give employees “time to process and grieve.” Illinois Walmart employees Phillip Thomas, 48, and Wando Evans, 51, died in late March. A 27-year-old greeter at a Maryland Walmart, Leilani Jordan, also died last week. Jordan’s mother said her daughter continued doing to work to “help the senior citizens get their groceries.” “She only stopped going to work when she could no longer breathe,” Zenobia Shepherd told the Post.
This comes after dozens of grocery store workers have tested positive for coronavirus, and as workers call for more protective equipment. Walmart is reportedly hiring 150,000 workers and Kroger is looking to add 10,000 employees to their workforce to deal with the increased demand.