Covid-19 Australia: Woolworths in western Sydney closed for deep clean after FOUR employees test positive

A Woolworths supermarket in the virus-ridden southwest of Sydney has closed after four Covid-infected employees worked there for 10 days.

Concerned shopkeepers ordered staff to close their doors on Tuesday when it became known that the four had worked infected between July 22 and 31.

The supermarket giants maintain that the Centro Center outlet has already been thoroughly cleaned, but did not give a date when it will reopen after the ‘temporary’ closure.

The closure comes on the day of a rift between NSW Police Secretary David Elliott and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kerry Chant on how best to control supermarkets.

Woolworths supermarket in Sydney’s Bankstown (pictured) is closed after four Covid-infected employees worked there for 10 days

Many of the exposure sites at the center of NSW Health’s warnings of concern are now supermarkets and pharmacies, prompting tighter restrictions.

On Tuesday morning, Mr. Elliott demanded that all supermarket companies employ dedicated security guards to oversee QR code check-ins.

“They should have guards on duty,” he said. “It takes some logic and that’s a logical step as far as I can see.

‘What we are going to tell the supermarkets’ [is] that they should hire security guards.’

The closure comes on the day of a split between NSW Police Secretary David Elliott and Chief Physician Dr.  Kerry Chant on how best to control supermarkets (pictured, woman speaks to police in lockdown)

The closure comes on the day of a split between NSW Police Secretary David Elliott and Chief Physician Dr. Kerry Chant on how best to control supermarkets (pictured, woman speaks to police in lockdown)

NSW Police Secretary David Elliott (pictured) demanded that all supermarket businesses employ dedicated security guards to oversee QR code check-ins

NSW Police Secretary David Elliott (pictured) demanded that all supermarket businesses employ dedicated security guards to oversee QR code check-ins

But that advice was contradicted within hours by Dr. Chant and Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian, when they said guard janitors could make things worse.

“We’ve had transmission in a small number of supermarkets and that’s usually when someone, one of the employees, has brought it in through community exposure,” said Dr Chant.

‘We don’t really think the large supermarkets are a big risk.’

Ms Berejiklian added that it was the responsibility of the NSW Police Force to ensure supermarkets and shoppers adhered to the lockdown restrictions.

dr.  Kerry Chant (pictured) and Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian warned guard janitors could make matters worse

dr. Kerry Chant (pictured) and Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian warned guard janitors could make matters worse

“Obviously the police are conducting compliance checks, but as Dr Chant and the health advisory say, we want as little human contact as possible,” she said.

“So the QR codes are there for people to use, but even having a janitor is a risk, like Dr. Chant has said before.

‘The police patrol and ensure compliance, but it is as little person-to-person contact as possible that is necessary.’

QR codes became mandatory in all supermarkets, shopping centers and workplaces from July 12 under increasingly strict lockdown restrictions.

Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci has admitted QR check-ins were a “troublesome issue” that could put his staff at risk if they tried to enforce the rules.

Many of the exposure sites in central NSW Health sites of concern are now supermarkets and pharmacies, prompting stricter restrictions (pictured, a shopper in incarcerated Sydney)

Many of the exposure sites in central NSW Health sites of concern are now supermarkets and pharmacies, prompting stricter restrictions (pictured, a shopper in incarcerated Sydney)

“We encourage customers to check in, but we don’t enforce it and that’s because we can’t compromise our team in those scenarios,” Mr Banducci said. ABC.

“We need to encourage and prompt, but we don’t enforce, so if customers see someone without a mask, don’t take it out on any of our team members.

‘That’s not their role. That is the role of the police.’

The supermarket addressed the closure of the Bankstown store in a statement saying that the decision to close was made after talks with NSW Health.

“In consultation with NSW Health, we have taken the precaution to temporarily close our Bankstown store,” it reads.

QR codes became mandatory in all supermarkets, shopping centers and workplaces from July 12 under increasingly strict lockdown restrictions (pictured, a shopper in Brisbane's lockdown)

QR codes became mandatory in all supermarkets, shopping centers and workplaces from July 12 under increasingly strict lockdown restrictions (pictured, a shopper in Brisbane’s lockdown)

“We have been informed that at the Bankstown store, four of our team members have tested positive for COVID-19.

“The team members last worked in the store between July 22 and 31. Woolworths Bankstown underwent detailed deep cleanings after being notified of each case.

“We apologize for the inconvenience and we will reopen the store to customers as soon as possible.”

The supermarket chain also confirmed that another employee worked in its Chullora store for three days between July 23 and 25 while he was infected.

That store has remained open after an overnight deep clean, Woolworths said in a statement.

Another employee also worked while infected at the Woolworths Chullora store for full shifts on three days between July 23 and 25, but that store remains open (photo, shoppers in Melbourne's lockdown)

Another employee also worked while infected at the Woolworths Chullora store for full shifts on three days between July 23 and 25, but that store remains open (photo, shoppers in Melbourne’s lockdown)

It added: “The team member has received advice from the Ministry of Health and is following insulation requirements.”

NSW recorded a further 199 cases of Covid-19 overnight, including 50 that were contagious in the community. There are now 250 patients suffering from Covid-19 in NSW hospitals, 53 of whom are in intensive care and 20 on ventilators.

NSW Health said 73 of the new cases reported as of 8pm Monday evening were found in Sydney’s south-west, while 67 were discovered in the west and 35 in Sydney’s Central Health District.

Health officials also found 12 cases in the Nepean Blue Mountains region west of the city, an alarming sign that the outbreak could have spread into regional NSW.

Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci fears enforcing QR check-ins and mandatory masks could put his staff at risk (photo, shoppers in Brisbane's lockdown)

Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci fears enforcing QR check-ins and mandatory masks could put his staff at risk (photo, shoppers in Brisbane’s lockdown)

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