Hermanus police official, Athlone supermarket staffer test positive for Covid-19

PHOTO: Getty Images/Gallo Images
PHOTO: Getty Images/Gallo Images

A Hermanus police station official and a person who works at Shoprite in Athlone are among the latest to test positive for Covid-19 in the Western Cape, forcing both organisations to take measures to sanitise the buildings.

Brigadier Donovan Heilbron on Tuesday said the "charge office" of the police station in the seaside town was moved to the pavement to keep services running while sanitising was under way.

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There was also a 48-hour waiting period before people could enter the building.

Cellphone numbers were publicised for anybody who needed to call the police station.

People who work at the police station were screened for "close" or "direct" contact.

Heilbron said the Department of Health was present too.

He said the police station was not closed. Its services were just moved out to the front of the building, where there was enough space to set up a charge office.

"We are coping," said Heilbron.

He said that checking whether officials were wearing personal protective equipment forms part of their daily compliance checks.

In the meantime, the Shoprite in Athlone, Cape Town, and the Pick n Pay at Waterstone Village in Somerset West, were also closed at the weekend when staffers at the respective stores tested positive for the virus.

Employee screening programme

The Shoprite Group confirmed its Athlone store was closed on Sunday, 12 April after one of its employees tested positive for Covid-19.

Last Tuesday, its Bothasig, Cape Town, store closed for the same reason.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and the Department of Health were informed.

"The store closed immediately and a professional decontamination company was brought in to sanitise and deep clean the store. The provincial Department of Health will give notice when the store may be reopened," Shoprite said.

An employee screening programme supported by the company's mobile clinic have been put in place immediately. Those who had close contact with the infected person were now self-quarantining for 14 days.

The Pick n Pay store in Waterstone Village was hoping to reopen on Tuesday after it too had to close due to a Covid-19 case.

This was after a staff member was sent home on Thursday after reporting that she was not feeling well.

She subsequently tested for the coronavirus. Close contacts were traced and asked to self-isolate and the store was being deep cleaned as a precaution.

Meanwhile, another person has been diagnosed with Covid-19 in Cape Town's Bo-Kaap, according to the crisis committee set up there.

The woman is in her 70s.

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