By Clint Parker
Weaverville – After initially confirming that an employee with the Weaverville Tractor Supply location had tested positive for COVID-19.
MacKenzie Goldman, a senior public relations representative with the company, less than an hour later, called to walk back her earlier statement to the Tribune that they had a confirmed case of an employee who had tested positive for COVID-19.
Goldman originally told the Tribune Thursday afternoon (April 2), “I know you had heard that a team member had tested positive for COVID19. I can confirm that and so we made the decision to close the store to make sure we have time to clean it according to the CDC and the local health department’s guidelines. Because we don’t want anyone else to get sick.”
The Tribune had received word earlier Thursday that Tractor Supply in Weaverville had closed because an employee had tested positive. The Tribune went by for confirmation, but the doors were already locked with a sign reading “closed until further notice.” Several calls to the store went unanswered. A call to the south Asheville location was answered and when asked about the Weaverville location the woman would only say, “I’m not at liberty to say. It’s a store issue.”
After posting our initial information, the Tribune’s Facebook post received a lot of comments from reporting that a case of COVID-19 had been confirmed at the town’s Tractor Supply location, including from someone claiming to be the spouse of the employee who was sick saying they did not have the virus.
“The team member we previously said had COVID-19, was not actually tested for it, but they were feeling a little under the weather and exhibiting some symptoms that did raise concerns for COVID-19,” said Goldman. “We sincerely apologize for that [the error information given to the Tribune],” Goldman said. “It was a break down in communications.”
She went on to say, “So working with the health department and in line with Tractor Supply’s commitment to keep their team members and customers safe – that’s why the store was closed as a precautionary measure, and it’s going to stay closed until we can have a deep cleaning.”
Goldman did go on to say that any team member out for virus-like symptoms would be on paid sick leave for 14 days.
Editor’s note: Be sure to read the related commentary on page 4 in next week’s Weaverville Tribune.