By Len Ramirez

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — Santa Clara County health officials are investigating clusters of COVID-19 cases at four Costco stores in the South Bay.

At least 31 workers have been infected; 13 at the store in Sunnyvale, 8 at the one on Senter Road in San Jose, 6 cases in Gilroy, and 4 in Mountain View. Health officials define a cluster as three or more cases within two weeks.

The Sunnyvale Costco on Lawrence Station Road reported the infections occurred between July 23 and July 26. Regular shopper Craig Lee said he was hesitant to return at first, but was assured by a friend who works there it was safe to shop there.

“Originally it was like, ‘Ooh, we’re not going to go shopping,'” said Lee. “They completely cleaned the place up. So I didn’t have any problem at all.”

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department said it inspected all of the stores involved except for the Mountain View store and said Costco did the right thing by reporting the numbers.

“The initial investigation appears to tell us that the cases have been infected most likely in the community and outside the workplace although we’re not done with those investigations, they’re ongoing,” said county Public Health Officer Marty Fenstersheib.

Health officials did not move to shut the stores down because inspections showed Costco is following safety protocols inside the stores. The Mountain View store had not been inspected as of Thursday afternoon.

“They’ve done a really good job as far as the cleanliness, their social distancing, their mask-wearing, all of that has been very good
so we feel at this point, it is quite safe to shop at Costco,” said Fenstersheib.

Costco did not return a request for comment.

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