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COVID-19 survivor alleges discrimination at Marlin Dollar Tree

Mayra Perez, a Marlin woman who survived and recovered from COVID-19 said she was told that she can no longer shop at her local Dollar Tree.

MARLIN, Texas — Mayra Perez, a Marlin woman who survived and recovered from COVID-19, said she was told that she can no longer shop at her local Dollar Tree because she was diagnosed with coronavirus.

Perez said she was diagnosed with the virus on April 27, but said she has recovered and was cleared by her doctor to go out in public last week. She was open about her diagnosis on a community Facebook page. 

"I just kind of wanted to make them aware of where we went before we knew we were contagious and to let them know that we would be self isolating until we were fully recovered," Perez said. 

Once she was cleared on Wednesday, May 6, Perez and her husband decided to wait a few extra days, until Sunday, May 10, to play it safe before going out.

Perez said she went to Dollar Tree that day, bought a few things and left the store.

"It was when I left, you know, when things got ugly," Perez said. 

She said after she shopped at the store, the store's manager commented on one of her Facebook posts. The comment said that she cannot shop at the store until the pandemic is over. 

"I didn't get upset at first. I understood that her concern was coming from a place of fear and honestly ignorance," Perez said. 

Perez said she responded and called the store to explain that she had recovered. She claimed the manger still said that she cannot shop at the store, and was threatened that the store would call the police if she shopped there again. Mayra said the manager told her Dollar Tree has a policy that anyone who have tested positive for COVID-19 aren't allowed in the store. Mayra said the manager told her they are making it apply to employees and community members.

"It's been crazy. I never thought I would go through something like this," Perez said. "It's nuts to be discriminated against, for, you know, any reason (like) race, religion, special needs, or even having a virus. There is no need to discriminate against anyone or try to prohibit someone from shopping somewhere because you are afraid."

After 6 News called multiple times, Dollar Tree said that they could not address the media. We also left a voicemail at the corporate level. 

6 News called the Marlin Police Department about the situation. The department responded and said that if the police were called, they would access the situation. According to Chief of Police Lawrence McCall, from his understanding, there has not been a criminal act that has been committed. He said he would like to contact Dollar Tree corporation to see what policies they have.

According to McCall, fro a criminal trespass warning to be issued, some type of activity needed to have occurred and the suspect has to be on the property.

We went online to the store's coronavirus response page. There is no mention of any policy when it comes to customers. There are health screenings for the associates. 

Perez mentioned that the community was very supportive regarding her diagnosis. She said she had a plasma transfusion from a COVID-19 survivor, which she said helped her recover much faster.

Guidelines the Center for Disease Control and Prevention regarding people who have recovered from COVID-19 and be found here.

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