Pick n Pay at Heritage Mall announced it has reopened today after being closed over the weekend, after an employee at Pick n Pay clothing tested positive for Covid-19.
Staff in the main store walked out in a dispute with management after demanding they should all be tested and the store sanitised. Word spread on social media.
Last Friday, in confirming the case, Ndlambe Municipality Covid-19 JOC Committee liaison Alroy Taai said: “There are 100 staff at Pick n Pay and they all demanded to be tested.” But he said the protocol was only to test people who had been in close contact with the infected employee. “Close contact,” he repeated.
“We can’t test 100 people. There is a shortage of test kits countrywide. We can’t let 100 people jump the queue on testing,” Taai explained.
“After talking with the hospital, what we will do is take 10 staff at a time and do screening (questions) and then a nose or throat swab as the next step, but only those who meet the criteria will be tested.”
In a statement today, Pick n Pay’s Corporate Brands spokesperson Janine Cordova said: “Our store has safely reopened. Thank you to the community for the support.
“The entire store was deep cleaned and sanitised by a specialist cleaning company and we liaised closely with health authorities prior to reopening the store. All staff members were screened by health practitioners and will be retrained as per the protocol requirements. Our customers and staff are always our top priority. As we all continue to play our part in fighting the spread of COVID-19, we wanted to take the opportunity to reassure you about our safety protocols and standards, so you can shop in confidence,” she said.
Among the measures taken are:
- Cleaning the store rigorously, including sanitising all till points after each transaction, and sanitising the trolleys frequently.
- All till points have perspex screens and the store offers contactless payment options, such as ‘Scan & Pay’.
- Sanitising hands before entering the store, and having hand sanitiser readily available for all staff and customers in the store.
- Our staff follow strict hygiene rules and practices, including regular handwashing.
- They are wearing face masks and customers are asked to do the same.
- They have clear distancing policies which include: limiting the number of staff in-store, floor markers, and asking customers to queue and shop with a trolley so that safe physical distancing can be maintained at all times.
- Daily staff updates and training on safety measures.
- Staff are screened for any symptoms before they start work.
“We will continue to do whatever it takes to keep you safe. Thank you for your support and for shopping with us. We look forward to welcoming you again in our store,” Cordova said.
“We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our staff, management and security personnel for the manner in which they handled the crisis. Our thanks also to the health practitioners that responded at such short notice to screen the staff at the store, and also to the environmental health department for doing their inspection, also at short notice.”