An Employee Had a Breakthrough Case of COVID-19. Here is Everything You Need to Know.

The Vermont Department of Health deems this a low-risk situation. Out of an abundance of caution we are closing the White River Junction store today at 3:00 pm. Please read on. 

A Letter from the Co-op General Manager

To Our Community,

Last night we learned that a fully vaccinated, front-end employee in our White River Junction store tested positive for COVID-19. The last time the employee was in the store was on Sunday, August 8. The employee received a positive COVID test result on Tuesday, August 10. There were three employees who came into close contact with this employee.

According to our protocols — a set of action steps we established at the beginning of the pandemic —we consulted with the Vermont Department of Health (VTDOH) officials, who have informed us that this case qualifies as low-risk. The VTDOH advised that those employees who came into close contact with this employee do not need to quarantine.

The VTDOH deems this situation as low risk because:

  • This is a breakthrough case, meaning the employee was vaccinated.
  • The employee was double-masked, working behind Plexiglas, and all interactions with customers and employees, other than the three identified as having been in close contact, were brief.
  • Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the employee did the right thing and left work early, taking advantage of the Co-op’s sick and paid time off policies. 

Actions the Co-op is taking out of an abundance of caution: 

  • The employee’s immediate work area, as well as the entire store, has been deep cleaned.
  • Daily health checks and self-monitoring have been reinstituted at the store.
  • Employees who came in close contact with the employee will be on paid administrative leave until they produce a negative COVID test.

The White River Junction Store will close at 3 pm today, August 11, 2021. We anticipate the store will reopen for normal business hours on Saturday, August 14, 2021 at 7:00 am. Closing the store will allow other employees who wish to be tested the time they need to quarantine while waiting for their test results.  We have no reason to suspect that there are any additional cases at this time, as no other employees at the WRJ store are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. 

  • Employees who were scheduled to work during the store’s closure will be paid for their time.

To learn more about all the steps we are taking in response to COVID-19, please see our website,

Thank you to all of our members and shoppers for your support. Remember to be kind to one another and to yourselves, and we look forward to serving you in our stores and at the curbside.

Onward and upward,


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Paul Guidone

Paul Guidone, CFA, spent the better part of four decades in the investment management business here and abroad. He held positions ranging from analyst through Deputy Chairman and Group CEO, at organizations such as Citigroup (US) and The HSBC Group (London and Hong Kong). He joined the Co-op in 2016 as the CFO and in 2018 became Strategic Advisor to the General Manager. Paul was appointed by the Co-op Board as interim General Manager in March 2020 and General Manager in September 2020. To contact, email

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