As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in San Joaquin County, three different sectors of Lodi’s economy have experienced outbreaks forcing temporary closures.
Maj. Mark Thielenhaus, operations officer for the Salvation Army, said the nonprofit’s Hope Harbor location on Sacramento Street in Lodi will not be offering overnight services for the next two weeks after several staff members tested positive for COVID-19.
The closure affects about 18 clients, Thielenhaus said, adding that overnight service would be operational again on Jan. 22.
“It’s not what we preferred to do,” he said. “But several of our staff had concerns (they were sick), so they stayed home, and many tested positive. Others are quarantining or waiting for results, but if one-third of the staff is on quarantine, we just can’t provide services to people.”
About seven staff members went into quarantine when the nonprofit decided to temporarily close its overnight service last Friday, he said.
Thielenhaus said he was also planning to temporarily suspend walk-in meal service due to the staffing shortage, but neighbors Grace and Mercy Charitable Foundation and the CommUNITY Service Team offered to provide the service for the next two weeks.
Other services and programs will continue to operate as planned, he said.
In the meantime, Thielenhaus said the nonprofit is looking for volunteers to help pack food boxes and take them out to cars for curbside service over the next two weeks. He said about six volunteers a day are needed until his quarantined staff can return to work.
Those interested in volunteering can call 209-369-5896, ext. 107.
Thielenhaus said those who need the Salvation Army’s services should not be discouraged from coming to Hope Harbor while some staff members are quarantining.
“We have people that need help, and they can still come here,” he said. “They will still receive the food they need, and they don’t have to go without anything. We’re doing everything safer, and it’s absolutely safe to come here.”
The nonprofit’s decision to close Hope Harbor comes as San Joaquin County Public Health Services reports 210 COVID-19 outbreaks since the pandemic began in March. An outbreak is determined when three or more people in a location have tested positive, health officials said.
According to county public health data, 54.8% of outbreaks have been traced to community transmission, while 27.6% have been traced to congregate transmission.
In addition, there have been 52,400 cases and 724 deaths since March, according to county public health.
Last week, three Starbucks locations in Lodi were closed due to positive COVID-19 tests.
Jory Mendes, a spokesperson for the Seattle-based company, said the stores at 514 W. Kettleman Lane, 2431 W. Kettleman Lane and 224 Ham Lane were all closed after an employee at each site tested positive.
The employees, as well as those that had been in close contact with them have been isolating at home, Mendes said.
The 514 W. Kettleman store reopened Sunday with full hours of operation, while the 2431 W. Kettleman Lane store reopened last Friday.
The store at 224 Ham Lane reopened Jan. 4 with modified hours of operation, staffed by employees who were not in close contact with the diagnosed partner, Mendes said.
“Starbucks works closely with the guidance of the CDC and local health authorities to make decisions based on facts and science, with the health and well-being of our employees and customers top of mind,” Mendes said. “When we learn of a positive diagnosis, we activate our protocols in alignment with this guidance, closing stores for deep cleanings where necessary, require our partners to self-isolate, and where possible, shift operations to utilize various store formats with partners who have not been in close contact with infected individuals.”
Although students are not on campus at Lodi Unified School District sites, officials confirmed on Monday that Manlio SIlva Elementary and Clairmont Elementary had staff report they tested positive for the virus.
Both sites are located in Stockton.
Leonard Kahn, the district’s chief business officer, said three staff members at Silva — one of whom works in nutrition — tested positive, while two staffers at Clairmont tested positive. Three other employees at Clairmont are awaiting testing results, which could take one to three days to be reported.
Silva was closed on Friday, and Clairmont will be closed Tuesday. Both campuses will be closed for 10 days for cleaning and disinfecting procedures, Kahn said.
“Our protocols require us to close a school if there are three confirmed cases, or if more than 5% of the staff report testing positive,” Kahn said. “We went ahead and decided to close Clairmont for 10 days. If we find out that the other three tests are negative, we’ll undo the closure there.”