LANSING, N.Y. — An employee at the Target location in The Shops at Ithaca Mall has tested positive for COVID-19, Target Corporate confirmed on Wednesday.

The Ithaca Voice received a tip on Tuesday that Target employees were informed on Sunday of the positive test results. Target corporate confirmed the positive test to the Ithaca Voice on Wednesday afternoon.

“We’re working in close partnership with local health departments and can share that we’ve been notified that our Lansing store on Catherwood Road has experienced a team member positive case of the coronavirus,” Target told the Voice through a spokesperson. “We’ve communicated directly with this team member, who went into quarantine and is following all health department guidelines. We’re paying this team member while they’re on leave and our thoughts are with them during this challenging time.”

As a company-wide practice, after learning about positive cases, employees work quickly to deep clean and sanitize the store, which is the recommendation of public health experts. We have notified the entire store team and provided them with the appropriate CDC guidance, the statement continued.

The company says they are also providing all of their store and distribution employees with masks, gloves and thermometers, upholding rigorous cleaning routines, installing partitions at check out lanes in stores and employing a variety of social distancing measures.

“Our top priority is the health and safety of our team members and guests. We will continue to actively monitor this situation and respond accordingly,” the statement concluded.

As in the past, the Tompkins County Health Department declined to release any information that may be identifying of the positive case, citing the success of the county’s contact tracing efforts.

“We understand that Target made a statement about a positive case in their workforce, we do a contact investigation in every case and we only issue a community release when all close contacts could not be identified,” said Public Health Director Frank Kruppa Wednesday.

Until very recently, where TCHD released some demographic information and a breakdown of per-municipality case counts, county health officials have refused to release any information that might risk the medical privacy of patients, only issuing a community-wide release if all of an individual’s close contacts couldn’t be identified by a trace investigation. In all recent cases, the county says they have been able to identify these close contacts and there hasn’t been a need to do a community-wide release.

Featured photo courtesy of Mike Mozart