HERMANUS – As the number of Covid-19 cases across the country continues to spike, more and more businesses have had to close their doors for a short period to allow for decontamination, after Covid-19 cases in the workplace were recorded.
Over the last week, a number of businesses and institutions in Hermanus have had to suspend business for this reason. This includes Absa Hermanus, the Overstrand Traffic Department and Dis-Chem in the Whale Coast Mall.
Overstrand Municipality confirmed on Tuesday that the Hermanus Traffic Department had been closed for a second time after a second staff member had tested positive for Covid-19. The Traffic Department was first closed on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 June, to allow for deep cleaning of the facility after a traffic official employed at the Roadworthy Testing Centre had tested positive for Covid-19.
“We would like to reassure members of the public who visited the offices of the Traffic Department that they would not have come into contact with the staff member who tested positive for Covid-19,” the municipality said in a statement last week. “The relevant official is working at the Roadworthy Testing Centre behind the facility, and is currently self-isolating.”
The Traffic Department reopened on Monday 22 June, but was closed a second time on Tuesday after another staff member at the Traffic Department had tested positive for Covid-19.
“The Traffic Department in Hermanus will therefore be closed with immediate effect until Monday 29 June for deep cleaning and decontamination,” said Overstrand Municipality in a statement on Tuesday.
“All the necessary health protocols are being followed – work spaces, vehicles, restrooms and offices are sanitised and cleaned on a daily basis. All officials who were in contact with the individual will be screened by health workers. Staff members may then be sent for further testing or be required to self-isolate for two weeks.”
The municipality pointed out the traffic offices in Kleinmond and Gansbaai will be able to assist with registration and licensing of motor vehicles as well as annual renewals.
The Absa Hermanus branch was also closed last week, after staff had tested positive for Covid-19. The branch is expected to reopen early next week.
Tshiwela Mhlantla, Managing Executive: Physical Channels, Absa Retail and Business Bank, confirmed staff members who tested positive were in self-isolation.
“We are providing our colleagues with ongoing support,” he said. “All necessary measures have been undertaken to ensure those who were in contact with our colleagues are tested and remain in precautionary self-quarantine, pending the outcome of medical tests where appropriate.
“In accordance with our stringent health and safety measures, the matter has been reported to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases [NICD], and the branch has been closed for deep cleaning. To date, all our branches and offices have been subjected to increased hygiene regimens, regular sanitising and social distancing protocols in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.”
On Friday, the management of Whale Coast Mall issued a statement on Facebook confirming Dis-Chem had been closed to limit the risk of transmission, after a staff member at the pharmacy had tested positive for Covid-19.
A statement from Dis-Chem said “rigorous preventative health and safety protocols” had been implemented, and the store had been decontaminated and sanitised before reopening on 20 June.
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