FARMINGTON – The Home Depot in Farmington was ordered closed Friday after the New Mexico Department of Health became aware of four positive rapid tests for COVID-19 among employees within a 14-day period.
The Home Depot, at 3560 E. Main St. in Farmington, was issued a notice of closure by certified letter Friday that said the business had to close immediately.
The letter outlined why the store was ordered to close.
“Pursuant to the COVID-Safe Practices for Individuals and Employers Guide, which is incorporated by reference in the current Public Health Order, a ‘rapid response’ is conducted whenever a COVID-19 case is identified in a place of business or a high-risk facility or population,” the letter said.
The order was issued Jan. 29 and said that any food/drink establishment, close-contact business, place of lodging, retail space or other business including some essential businesses must close immediately if there are four or more rapid responses in a 14-day time period. The letter identified the four cases:
Response 1: Jan. 22 with one COVID infection.Response 2: Jan. 25 with one COVID infection.Response 3: Jan. 29 with one COVID infection.Response 4: Feb. 1 with one COVID infection.The store officially closed Feb. 12, according to New Mexico Environment Department spokesperson Justin Garoutte and is authorized to resume normal operations Feb. 26.
Garoutte said no further action was needed by the store to resume regular operations when Home Depot does reopen.
The spokeswoman for Home Depot, Margaret Smith, said the store is working with the state on reopening.
“Our focus is the safety of our associates and customers, which is why we’ve put numerous safety measures in place, including requiring masks, daily health checks for associates, social distancing, contract tracing and enhanced cleaning in addition to paid leave and time-off policies for associates,” said Smith, adding that while the store is closed, customers can shop online at the store’s website.
The store will be closed for 14 days and is set to reopen Feb. 26.
While the store does plan to stay closed during that time, the letter outlined a section of the Jan. 29 order that said failure to comply with the order to close would result in fines and possible criminal penalties.