Pandemic hits Tracy Food Pride leader

Tracy Food Pride owner Bruce Schelhaas is a tireless worker at his grocery store, but he has been sidelined for the time being after testing positive for COVID-19. Tracy Area Headlight Herald file photo

Employees rally to keep things running smoothly while their boss recovers

By Per Peterson

Tracy Food Pride owner Bruce Schelhaas has tested positive for COVID-19 and is being quarantined in his home.

Schelhaas’ daughter, Mandi Haase, confirmed the news Monday and said her father is “hanging in there.” He was exposed to COVID-19 during a recent trip to Rapid City, SD, to catch his grandson’s baseball tournament. The soon-to-be-68-year-old Schelhaas has not been in the store since he was exposed. He does have underlying health conditions — he is a diabetic, and also has kidney and liver issues to deal with.

“He’s certainly not out of the woods — we’re waiting and seeing,” Haase said. “When they were traveling back from Rapid City he was not feeling the greatest, so they stopped in Sioux falls to be screened and we got the test back last Tuesday.”

The family has been in close contact with the South Dakota Department of Health; South Dakota practices contact tracing, and Haase said it’s vital that people know the facts about COVID and to get tested if they have any symptoms.

“Everybody thinks this can’t happen to them,” she said. “It’s been a real experience for our family. COVID is everywhere, and everyone needs to make decisions that are best for themselves and others.”

Food Pride store manager Lori Alf said Monday was anything but a typical day at the store. With Schelhaas gone, all the employees have had to step up even more than usual.

“It has been pretty chaotic,” said Alf. “It’s been hectic, but we’re getting better at handling it. Everybody is really stepping up — there’s not an employee here that is not stepping up, which makes a world of difference. But this really threw us for a loop.”

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.