SAINT JOHN -- A positive test for COVID-19 forced the immediate closure of two Shoppers Drug Mart locations Sunday in New Brunswick.

An employee who works at both the Quispamsis and Lansdowne Place Shoppers Drug Mart in Saint John tested positive for the virus.

A spokesperson for Shoppers’ parent company said in an email to CTV News that they are is contact with the local public health team and have taken a number of steps to minimize risk, including increased sanitization protocols and enforcing physical-distancing practices in the store.

“Additionally, employees who worked with this individual at both stores are now at home in self-isolation, monitoring for any symptoms,” said Catherine Thomas, senior director for Loblaws’ external communication.

Thomas said the stores were closed for a thorough, professional cleaning and reopened Monday morning.

Thomas said they were informed of the positive test result Sunday, which prompted the quick closure of the stores.

For their part, New Brunswick health officials put out a public notification.

Anyone who visited Shoppers Drug Mart at 175 Old Hampton Rd. in Quispamsis on the following dates may have been exposed to COVID-19:

  • March 18 – 3:30 p.m. to midnight
  • March 19 – 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • March 26 – 8:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

In addition, individuals who visited Shoppers Drug Mart at 57 Lansdowne Ave. in Saint John on March 20 between 10 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. may also have been exposed.

In a news release, New Brunswick Public Health says anyone who was in those stores during those times should self-monitor and call 811 if they have any symptoms.

When asked what position the employee holds, and whether they had access to the public, Thomas said: “Out of respect for the privacy of the employee we cannot disclose more information.”

For the next two weeks, both stores will be operating on reduced hours, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. daily.