Australia

WARNING TO WOOLIES SHOPPERS: Customers at risk after virus case

A Melbourne Woolworths was quickly closed last night after a worker tested positive for coronavirus.

Woolworths in Pacific Werribee shopping centre, in Melbourne’s southwest, was closed at 8pm last night due to the infected staff member.

The staff member will spend the next two weeks in isolation and the Woolworths reopened this morning.

Woolworths is advising any customers who shopped at the store on Saturday, July 4 to immediately contact the health department if they feel unwell.

“We’re making contact with our Werribee Plaza team members and will provide our full support to those required to self-isolate in line with advice from the health authorities,” Woolworths said in a statement.

“As a food retailer, we already have very high standards of cleaning and hygiene in place. As an extra precautionary measure, the store was closed at 8pm last night for an additional deep clean.

“While the risk of transmission to customers and team members is low, the safety and wellbeing of the local community is our priority.”

Contact tracing is underway and any Woolworths staff who came in close contact are in isolation.

Victoria recorded 165 new cases of coronavirus yesterday, bringing the state’s total to 3098.

Management at Pacific Werribee wrote a letter to their customers yesterday, advising locals of the precautions they’d be taking as Victoria moved to stage three restrictions.

“As a provider of necessary goods and services, Pacific Werribee will remain open and trading, playing an essential role in our community, providing convenient access to food, groceries, supplies, household items, medical services, and banking, among other essential amenities,” the centre manager said.

“With this essential role in mind, the health and wellbeing of our community remains our unwavering top priority, and we continue to uphold a robust range of measures designed to help mitigate the spread of the virus within our centre and protect you and your loved ones’ health.”

The closure at Pacific Werribee comes a week after a Woolworths in Sydney was closed due to a staff member testing positive.

The staff member had spent two weeks in hotel quarantine in Melbourne and developed symptoms on June 14, testing positive for the virus on day seven of quarantine on June 18.

He was released on June 26, 12 days after his onset of symptoms and as national health guidelines dictate.

The man then worked at the Woolworths store in Balmain on June 27 and 28 before developing symptoms and testing positive for coronavirus on July 1.

RELATED: Why Sydney Woolies worker was allowed to fly home

NSW health minister Brad Hazzard said Woolworths was exemplary in managing the issue and ensuring all staff who may have been in contact with the man were put in self-isolation.

Victoria’s deputy chief health officer Annaliese van Diemen defended the decision to let the man go from hotel quarantine last week.

“There is a standard set of release from isolation criteria that is agreed upon nationally and it is consistent as well with the WHO criteria and that is when a patient has had more than 10 days since the onset of symptoms, including 72 hours being symptom and fever free, they are released from isolation and clinically declared to be released from isolation,” she said.

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