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Co-op secrets? Questions/concerns about disclosure of employee COVID cases

What is the story behind not disclosing cases of COVID19 among employees. This contradicts everything the coop should stand for.  Is “coop” just a pretense for sales and profits? You can say it is. I’d like to hear it, if it’s true. Elliot Rockler, member since 1971. 

4 Replies

I came here today to ask about this as well. I just read the New York Times article about this and I am concerned. I'm a newer member, and only joined within the last ten years, but I buy gear at REI to help me stay active and healthy; all the workers at all the REI locations need to be able to protect themselves and stay healthy, too.

We have two board members who work in healthcare; I'd particularly like to hear from them as well as REI's executive leadership.


@erockler @sumana_harihareswara 

Thank you for reaching out about your concerns with COVID-19 and the actions by the co-op.  We appreciate that you took time to write to us so we could respond. 

As we have since day one of COVID-19, we ground all our actions in guidance from the CDC and local experts and officials. The situation in retail is incredibly fluid and we are constantly listening, learning and always committed to putting the health and safety of employees and customers first.  That is why last week we updated our policies to allow for clearer communication in our retail locations around how COVID-19 cases are handled. 

We were one of the first retailers to close. We were one of the last to reopen. And even as we did, we did so in phases with stringent guidelines because this is incredibly complex. We’ve been committed to doing everything we can to get it right, including making the decision to temporarily close some stores back down after they reopened.  

You can read more about the co-op’s COVID-19 Health and Safety Standards and the steps we are taking to keep employees and customers safe hereOur CEO has also provided business updates to our members via the Co-op Journal and during our virtual annual member meeting.  

Thank you for reaching out, and for being members of our Co-op.

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Is this why the Kennesaw store closed back down?  I asked in this post but never really got a clear answer.

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

@nathanu we posted the following response on your other question about the temporary Kennesaw store closure and wanted to make sure it was visible here as well:

We are temporarily short-staffed in Kennesaw, due to an employee COVID-19 case. We have notified the store team, conducted contact tracing, and we're paying employees impacted by potential exposure for their scheduled shifts while they quarantine, per our standard guidelines. We have confidence in our health and safety protocols for customer interaction, including social distancing, PPE for employees and customers, store capacity limits and enhanced cleaning.

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.