Giant Eagle confirms positive COVID-19 test at Falls Portage Crossing store

Sean McDonnell
Beacon Journal
Giant Eagle spokesman Dan Donovan in front of the Howe Avenue Giant Eagle in April. An employee at teh Portage Crossing store recently tested positive for the coronavirus, the chain announced.

CUYAHOGA FALLS — Giant Eagle has taken down an online tool that tracked positive tests for COVID-19, and confirmed a positive test at a Cuyahoga Falls store.

Giant Eagle spokeswoman Jannah Jablonowski said an employee at the Portage Crossing Market District on State Road has tested positive for COVID-19. She said the last day that employee worked was July 16.

“Our focus is on ensuring that the Team Member is cared for, and that others who may have come into close contact with the individual are appropriately notified,” Jablonowski said in a prepared statement. “The Team Member’s last day of work was July 16, and we continue rigorous sanitization efforts throughout this, and all, stores.”

In March, the grocery store chain launched an online list where shoppers could track confirmed COVID-19 cases by store. This was after several workers, including one at Brunswick GetGo, tested positive for the virus.

The tracker included Giant Eagle and Market District stores and GetGo gas stations.

The site has location, date of the confirmed test and the last day the affected employee was in the store. That list, originally at gianteagle.com/store-cleansing, is no longer there.

Jablonowski said Giant Eagle introduced the online tracker to be transparent, but has now decided to discontinue it in favor of health departments being primary sources of information.

“In the early stages of the pandemic, when our stores were among the few essential businesses permitted to operate, we introduced our online tracker in an effort to be as transparent as possible about this new and unknown virus,” Jablonowski said.

“As our communities started reopening and we learned more about COVID-19, health officials began to urge consumers to exercise caution everywhere they went in public. In support of our local health departments as the primary source for COVID-19 information and guidance, we felt it was most responsible to discontinue online tracking of positive Team Member tests,” Jablonowski said. “Our commitment to clean and safe stores continues to remain our top priority.”

While the tracker is down, past news stories reported positive tests at Giant Eagle stores in Beachwood, Strongsville and North Olmsted. It’s not known if there have been other positive cases at Summit County stores.

Reach Beacon Journal reporter Sean McDonnell at smcdonnell@thebeaconjournal.com or 330-996-3186.