Chemist Warehouse worker tests positive for virus

Australian Associated Press
·2-min read

A Chemist Warehouse worker in Melbourne has tested positive for coronavirus as Victoria's active case count tips well over 1000.

The labour hire worker at CW Management, a distribution centre for Chemist Warehouse stores, last attended work on Tuesday and the pharmacy chain found out about the case Thursday night.

Chemist Warehouse said it immediately closed the Somerton facility for deep cleaning, as well as tracing and notifying the worker's direct contacts.

A stock photo of a Chemist Warehouse storefront.
Five other Chemist Warehouse workers have gone into isolation, despite the possibility that up to 100 staff had contact. Source: Getty

The United Workers Union claims only the confirmed case and five colleagues have gone into isolation, despite the possibility that up to 100 staff had contact.

The union says the facility was operational on Friday following the deep clean, but about 80 per cent of workers had refused to turn up for their shift after hearing of the case.

It claims Chemist Warehouse required absent workers use their leave entitlements and is calling for the staff to be paid pandemic leave.

Director of CW Retail, Mario Tascone, said all workers were encouraged to wear face masks and other PPE provided.

Employees and external contractors also have their temperature checked before entering the centre, Mr Tascone said.

"CW Management will continue to stress the importance and provide the means for social distancing within our facilities," he said.

Chemist Warehouse sign asking customers to protect themselves against coronavirus.
Director Mario Tascone said all workers were encouraged to wear face masks and other PPE provided. Source: AAP

Victoria recorded 288 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, with just 26 linked to known outbreaks and 262 under investigation.

It's the fifth day in a row of triple-digit figures in the state.

It brings Victoria's overall tally to 3397, of which 1172 remain active.

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