Leaked emails allegedly show that a CVS pharmacy store ordered staff not to inform customers that prescriptions had been filled by an employee who had tested positive for coronavirus.
As first reported by Business Insider, a technician from a store in Georgia claims they were instructed via email by a CVS district leader to track medications filled by the sick worker and to pull them from shelves.
The email also reportedly told employees that if a patient had already picked up their drugs, policy dictated to ‘NOT make an outreach call.’
Staff were allegedly told that if they revealed to customers someone in the store had tested positive for COVID-19, they would face disciplinary action or be fired, according to the technician.
A CVS district leader in Georgia allegedly told employees to track medications filled by an employee who tested positive for coronavirus and to pull them from shelves (file image)
It remains unclear when the coworker at the Georgia CVS store allegedly began exhibiting symptoms and tested positive for the coronavirus.
However, the technician told Business Insider that staff members who had been in close contact with the sick worker were instructed not to get tested for the virus themselves ‘because they couldn’t have anyone else out of work.’
CVS spokesperson Michael DeAngelis disputes this account to DailyMail.com and says the email was not indicative of the company’s official policy.
‘It is not our policy to prohibit our pharmacies from informing patients if their prescription was filled when an employee who tested positive for COVID-19 worked in the pharmacy,’ he said in a statement.
‘Business Insider refused to provide us a copy of the email in question so that we could look into the anonymous accusation or the source of the alleged internal email.’
However, DeAngelis did not say whether or not it is policy to disclose to patients when a member of pharmacy staff tests positive.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contact tracing guidelines, it is unclear if businesses can or should notify customers if an employee is infected.
More than one dozen CVS employees allegedly told Business Insider that the chain has a pattern of ‘bullying’ staff.
Staff members said CVS forced employees to work while sick despite reported incidents of COVID-19 exposure.
DeAngelis told DailyMail.com that when an employees contracts the virus ‘they are placed on a 14-day paid leave in order to self-isolate.’
Employees are allowed to work after being exposed to the coronavirus, however.
Guidelines include wearing a surgical mask, monitoring symptoms and having their temperatures taken before and after every shift for 14 days.
DeAngelis told DailyMail.com that the chain works with local health authorities if an employee tests positive.
‘When we’re notified about a pharmacy employee’s diagnosis, as a matter of precaution any prescriptions filled while that employee worked in the pharmacy that have not been picked up will be quarantined and replaced with new product,’ he said.
‘For patients who’ve already received their prescriptions, we cooperate with local departments of health and provide patient contact information as requested. In these situations, patients – if they choose to – can return and replace medications.’
According to Bloomberg, several companies have instituted gag rules prohibiting workers from speaking out about cases of COVID-19.
Employees at Amazon.com, McDonald’s, and Target have all allegedly been told to not speak about employees who’ve tested positive, the article states.