A Coles worker has tested positive for coronavirus at a distribution centre in Melbourne’s southwest.
Coles said in a statement it identified a single team member at its Laverton distribution centre as having the coronavirus and they are now self-isolating.
Coles said it conducted contact tracing among a small number of team members who were identified as having close contact, and they too have been instructed to self-isolate while they await the results of their coronavirus tests.
The supermarket giant said in the statement it had been working closely with the Victorian Department of Health and the distribution centre was visited by the department on Tuesday morning.
Coles reiterated its standard cleaning procedures complied with the government and hygiene and safety guidelines. The distribution centre is also undergoing a deep clean.
“The safety of our team members and customers is our number one priority and Coles has high standards in place for hygiene at all stores, distribution and support centres,” the statement said.
“Distribution centre team members do not manually handle individual grocery products, which are packaged in larger crates and cartons during distribution.
“All Coles distribution centres including the Laverton site have thermal imaging cameras and hand-held contactless thermometers the check the temperature of all team members and transport providers prior to entering the facility.”
The statement added there were also sanitiser stations located at all entrances and exits at the centre, with visible guidelines in place to help team members maintain social distancing.
Machinery operated by those at the distribution centres and commonly used areas are also sanitised between used and shift times have been adjusted to minimise the number of team members using break rooms at the same time.
Laverton is not in one of the six hotspots identified by the Victorian Government. The suburb is in the City of Wyndham, and closest to the Brimbank hotspot about 30 kilometres away.
Premier’s plea after coronavirus cases spike
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has warned residents “this is not over” as he announced on Tuesday a further 17 coronavirus cases in the state.
Sixteen of the cases were believed to be through community transmission, a recurring and concerning trend in recent days.
“We simply can't pretend that the virus is gone. That the virus is somehow not in our state. It is here. It travels so fast. It is so infectious,” he said.
Eleven cases are under investigation while two are linked to known outbreaks. Just one case was in hotel quarantine.
He warned anyone who has any symptoms must get tested and isolate.
“If you are sick, can you not go to work. If you are sick, you cannot visit friends and family. If you are sick, there's only one thing you should do, even with the mildest of symptoms, get tested.”
Between 16,000 and 18,000 people came forward to get tested on Monday, Mr Andrews said, praising the large turnout.
– With Tom Flanagan
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