Health department closes Aurora Walmart amid COVID-19 deaths, positive cases connected to store

Posted at 7:27 AM, Apr 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-24 09:44:15-04

AURORA, Colo. — A Walmart in Aurora has closed after an employee, her husband and a third-party contracted employee died of the novel coronavirus.

Six other people connected to the store have tested positive, and there are three additional cases awaiting confirmation from a laboratory, according to the Tri-County Health Department (TCHD). Those individuals' conditions are not known.

The TCHD issued an order to close for the Walmart Supercenter, which is located at 14000 E. Exposition in Aurora, to close on Thursday afternoon. The department said Walmart is cooperating with the investigation.

Read the full order below:

Order to Close - COVID - Wa... by Denver7 on Scribd

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.

John M. Douglas, Jr., executive director of TCHD, said they offer condolences to the loved ones of those three individuals.

“These deaths underscore the severity of the highly-contagious coronavirus, and the need for diligent safety precautions to prevent any further spread, including the wearing of masks,” he said.

The order to close came in the wake of a series of complaints from both employees and shoppers who raised concerns about lack of social distancing, crowded stores and employees not wearing anything to cover their faces.

The order reads that the Walmart violated the “Fourth Updated Public Health Order 20-24 Implementing Stay at Home Requirements” issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment on April 9. The documents demanded an immediate closure.

“It has been determined that you have violated the Public Health Order by operating your business in a manner that does not adhere to Section II A referring to critical businesses that must adhere to Social Distancing Requirements at all times,” the order reads. “Also, it has been determined there is an outbreak amongst employees at the store.”

The store will not reopen until TCHD decides it is in compliance with the public health order.

Aurora residents who want to be tested for COVID-19 can go to STRIDE CHC South Aurora Family Health Services (15132 E. Hampden Avenue) or STRIDE CHC Aurora Health & Wellness Plaza (10680 Del Mar Parkway). Both are open Friday and Saturday starting at 9 a.m. Click here for details on these testing sites.