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Jerilee Bennett/The Gazette

Hundreds lined up to get the opportunity to apply for jobs at King Soopers at the King Soopers Marketplace at Constitution Avenue and Marksheffel Road in Colorado Springs on March 23. Many of those waiting had lost their jobs because of COVID-19 closures.

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King Soopers in Colorado began offering free COVID-19 testing to store associates, based on symptoms and medical need, the company announced Monday.

“Our associates have worked tirelessly to provide communities continued access to fresh, affordable food. We are dedicated to providing support and gratitude to our associates,” Steve Burnham, president of King Soopers, said in a news release.

Tests will be a combination of self-administered kits and the company’s public drive-thru testing sites.

“The widespread availability of diagnostic testing will now allow our associates to feel more empowered and knowledgeable about their health, creating safer stores and facilities,” Burnham said.

As businesses across the state begin to reopen, King Soopers stores returned to regular store hours on Sunday. While story hours vary, most are open from 5 a.m. to 12 a.m. The hour changes will allow employees to further social distancing measures in stores, according to the news release.

Last week, eight employees at City Market in Breckenridge tested positive for the coronavirus, and an additional employee is waiting for results, public health officials said Wednesday.The Summit County Public Health Department began investigating after it was notified April 22 that an employee had been infected, according to a news release.

In addition to testing for associates, the company provides protective masks to all associates, conducts daily sanitation practices, implements floor decals and plexiglass partitions at check lanes to promote physical distancing. King Soopers also has customer capacity limits, and initiated a Helping Hands Fund and Emergency leave for associates who lack childcare or other personal hardships during the pandemic.

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@leslie_m_james

Leslie James is all about Colorado when it comes to writing features, sharing adventures, and creating colorful galleries. She loves camping, hiking, mountain biking and snowboarding. Leslie joined OutThere Colorado in November 2020.

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