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Kroger reports first 4 COVID-19 deaths of grocery store workers in Michigan

Kroger says it is taking additional steps to ensure the safety of staff and customers.
File photo (Eric Glenn/shutterstock.com)

(WTOL 11) -- Kroger is reporting what are believed to be the first COVID-19 deaths of grocery store workers in Michigan.

The nationwide grocery store chain Saturday said four Kroger employees who worked at stores on the east side of Michigan have died. "We are mourning along with their families during this extraordinarily difficult time," said a statement from Ken DeLuca, the president of Kroger of Michigan.

The Kroger staff members who died worked at stores in Northville, Troy, Grosse Point and Livonia, which are all located near Detroit.

"We are coordinating with local health departments and taking steps to support and safeguard our associates and customers. We are making mental health and grief counselors available to support our associates," said DeLuca.

Saturday, Meijer also announced its first employees to die from COVID-19. The Midwest grocery store chain did not indicate which stories the employees worked at or how many employees have died.

Kroger says it is taking additional steps to ensure the safety of staff and customers, including enhanced daily sanitation practices, encouraging staff members to wear masks, installing plexiglass partitions at check out lanes, adding signage for social distancing between customers and limiting the number of customers in the store.

In Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's revised stay at home executive order, which extends the shelter-in-place until May 1, big box stores have been mandated to limit the number of customers in the store and create shopping hours for vulnerable customers.