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Brookshire Brothers corporate headquarters in Lufkin announced on Tuesday that they had temporarily closed their Buna store after an employee’s wife tested positive for Coronavirus. Meanwhile, numerous residents of Buna tell KJAS News that the employee, who is the store manager, continued to work in the store even as his wife was in quarantine and waiting test results to come back.

The company said in a statement “…we have a safety professional onsite directing further sanitizing measures and will close the store until that process is complete.”

Brookshire Brothers said they plan to have the entire store professionally cleaned and sanitized and then reopened as quickly as possible.

In the meantime, Buna residents will have to travel to either 16 miles up to Kirbyville or 15 miles down to Silsbee to reach the nearest grocery stores.

KJAS News spoke to Jasper County Judge Mark Allen early Tuesday afternoon and he said that so far whichever medical facility the woman went to has still not reported the case to the Southeast Texas Regional Emergency Operations Center in Beaumont. Judge Allen said that he is working to find out where she went and why that entity did not report the case, which it is required to do within 4 hours whether it is a suspected or confirmed case. 

The following is the complete statement from Brookshire Brothers:

Due to community concerns, Brookshire Brothers has temporarily closed its Buna location.

Monday afternoon, an employee at our Buna store made our Corporate Human Resources Department aware that his spouse had tested positive for coronavirus.

As soon as we were aware of the positive diagnosis, we instructed the employee to self-quarantine. Until that time, the Company had no knowledge of the situation.

As was the case prior to this incident, our team has continuously sanitized the store and the adjacent fuel island following CDC guidelines. We are adhering to those same guidelines regarding symptom monitoring of our employee owners and their ongoing hygiene practices. In addition, we have a safety professional onsite directing further sanitizing measures and will close the store until that process is complete.

Measures are underway to put additional protection in place to further safeguard the shopping experience.

Keeping our employee owners and our customers healthy and safe is our highest priority. Once the store re-opens we will encourage everyone to continue to practice social distancing. Signage and in-store announcements continually remind customers and employees to maintain a safe and mindful distance of six feet apart while shopping.

It is our hope to have the store open soon to serve our customers and community.

Our entire country is working to slow the spread of COVID-19. We believe it is our shared responsibility to help flatten the curve. We appreciate the support of the community as we walk through this time together.

Broadcast journalist & on-air personality - Rayburn Broadcasting Company - KJAS 107.3 FM in Jasper, TX and KFAH 99.1 FM in Pineland, TX