San Jose Caliva security guard tests positive

A security guard at San Jose’s largest marijuana dispensary, Caliva, has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a company spokesperson.

Caliva executives informed employees on Wednesday that the guard had received positive test results for the virus after feeling mild symptoms for a few days. The company released an official statement to its customers on Thursday afternoon after an inquiry from this news organization earlier in the day.

The security guard has not been in the Caliva facility at 1695 S 7th Street since May 22 but did work 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. Monday through Friday of last week. The guard was in contact with a family member on May 17 who later tested positive for the virus and believes that was when the exposure transpired.

In a company statement on Thursday, Caliva said that the guard is “resting at home, showing no current symptoms, and feeling better.”

“We commend the guard for acting both quickly and responsibly within our safety protocols,” the statement said. “We continue to work closely with local officials on ensuring we are early adopters of all safety protocols.”

On Wednesday evening, Caliva hired a third-party firm to conduct a “professional, industrial-strength cleaning” of the entire facility, according to the company. Following the cleaning, the facility reopened for business as usual Thursday morning.

A worker at Caliva’s 7th Street location who was not authorized to speak on the matter told this news organization that while employees try to follow social distancing within the store, management has not provided sufficient supplies of hand sanitizer and wipes and has not enforced cleaning policies.

That’s been frustrating for employees still under immense pressure to hit sales goals. “It’s just upsetting,” the employee said.

The dispensary’s security personnel, including the individual who tested positive, have been wearing gloves and face masks while on the job, according to Caliva. The company is requiring that all other security guards that worked the same shift as the guard who tested positive take a mandatory 14-day quarantine leave from Caliva, according to a spokesperson.

Caliva has eight retail and delivery locations in California that employ more than 400 people. This is the first confirmed “customer-facing” Caliva representative to test positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began, according to the company.

The security guard was the second Caliva employee to notify the company that they had tested positive for COVID-19. An employee in the company’s corporate office began feeling symptoms of the virus on March 10 and informed Caliva that they tested positive on March 23 — 10 days after it closed its offices. No other Caliva employees who came into contact with the person prior to the offices closing reported symptoms or tested positive for the virus, according to a Caliva spokesperson.

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