Shoppers were up in arms last week as the Checkers store at Constantia Emporium shut for the second time this month with no explanation.
Angry customers took to community groups on Facebook asking what had happened.
The Shoprite Group, which includes Checkers, confirmed to the Bulletin on Tuesday May 26 that the store was closed on
Friday May 22 after an employee had tested positive for
Covid-19. The store has since opened.
“We closed this store and brought in a professional
decontamination company to sanitise and deep clean the
store,” the company said in a statement.
An employee-screening programme, supported by the company’s mobile clinic, had been launched and those who had had close contact with the employee self-quarantined for 14 days, the company said.
“We are working closely with various authorities and the store was reopened in consultation with the provincial Department of Health.”
The same store also closed suddenly three weeks earlier, on
May 5, because of a Covid-19 case, and the same decontamination
and quarantine procedure followed.
Over the past two months, the Shoprite Group has seen 17 stores hit by the Covid-19 outbreak. A 30-year-old woman and 51-year-old woman working at the Table View Checkers both died after testing positive for Covid-19.
The Shoprite Group said proactive screening had helped the company detect cases early and they would continue, when necessary, to close stores voluntarily without waiting to be told to do so by the authorities.
The company said staff had their temperatures checked daily when coming to work; mobile clinics had been dispatched; plastic face shields had been issued to staff; sanitary wipes were at store entrances and spray bottles of disinfectant at till points. Staff were also each being issued two cloth face masks.
The company said it had ordered 340 000 of these masks, made locally to support the textile industry.
“The importance of strict hygiene and hand-washing procedures, as well as the clean-as-you-go principle, where surfaces are constantly cleaned and disinfected whilst working, are reinforced with all store personnel,” the company said.