Belletete

ASHLEY SAARI / /Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

The Jaffrey Belletetes location is closed for cleaning and disinfecting, after an employee of the store reported a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 on Tuesday.

JAFFREY — The Belletetes hardware store in Jaffrey shut down Tuesday for cleaning and disinfecting after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

Mike Shea, CEO and president of Belletetes, said in an interview Tuesday that the employee, while having an unrelated health procedure, was tested for the virus and reported the positive results to the store manager on Tuesday morning. The Jaffrey location closed shortly thereafter and is expected to be closed for at least several days for disinfecting, “hopefully, only for the shortest possible time frame, but we are erring on the side of caution for the safety of both our employees and our customers,” Shea said.

He said the employee who tested positive had very little contact with the interior of the facility.

While closed to the public, the Jaffrey Belletetes is still accepting contractor orders for delivery and receiving orders in a way that allows for no-contact.

“This is really a game-changer,” Shea said. “I’m seeing a number of customers pulling into the lot and leaving disappointed. This really hits home in a small community. Despite months of being vigilant, unfortunately, we’ve had our first positive result.”

Shea said the store could reopen within a few days, possibly as early as Thursday. The store will announce through its social media and website when it reopens.

“We recognize it’s inconvenient. This is certainly nothing anyone wanted to wake up dealing with today. As soon as we can, we’ll be happy to unlock the doors and open the gates,” Shea said.

Other Belletetes locations, including the Peterborough store, remain open.

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Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.

These articles are being shared by partners in The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information visit collaborativenh.org.