Department of Health says Macy's employee was not tested for COVID-19

Alleged COVID-19 case at Edison Mall was a false claim
Posted at 11:47 PM, Mar 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-16 10:53:14-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health in Lee County is setting the record straight after Macy’s reported that an employee at Edison Mall tested positive for the COVID-19.

The health department says that worker was never tested.

As a safety measure, the store has been close since Saturday afternoon for deep cleaning.

“The panic has gone way to far and escalated, ” said Kristen Smith.

“It seems like everybody that has a cough or is sneezing people take that very seriously, ” said Miriam Mathew.

The Florida Department of Health issued a statement saying, “after thorough investigation by the DOH-lee epidemiological team, this claim was found to be false.”

The department of health says a fifth case was confirmed in Lee County of a 72-year-old female with COVID-19, but it wasn’t related to this case.

Fox 4 reached out to Macy’s for further confirmation. In a memo they said,

“Macy’s is committed to take the necessary actions to help support our customers, colleagues and communities… the actions that we took yesterday, closing the store for cleaning, was based on the information we had at the time.”

Even though this accusation turned out to be false, one local shopper is glad Macy’s took the necessary precautions.

“A deep clean is not the worst thing in the world, you have the opportunity take the opportunity,” said Kristen Smith.

Other shoppers say they are simply taking the proper hygiene precautions, and are not at all afraid to go into public spaces like malls.

“The only other option is to lock yourself at home and not do anything,” said Don Smith.

Macy’s plans to reopen the Edison mall store Monday at 10am .