25 June 2021

COVID-19 protocols queried after Goulburn scare

| Hannah Sparks
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Coles sign at company's head office

A close contact of a positive COVID-19 case worked at the Coles Distribution Centre in Goulburn on Wednesday, 23 June. Photo: Coles.

Staff at the Coles Distribution Centre in Goulburn are asking why they weren’t notified or sent home after working alongside a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case on Wednesday, 23 June.

Region Media understands the close contact spent four hours loading trucks destined for locations across Australia and ate with colleagues at the distribution centre before receiving a notification from NSW Health and leaving to get tested and isolate. The man had travelled between Sydney and New Zealand during the weekend onboard a flight also carrying a person who had tested positive to COVID-19.

Despite telling his managers at the distribution centre, staff continued working unaware.

The man has since returned a negative test.

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A Coles spokesperson said the team at the distribution centre sanitised all equipment and the areas the man used while they were at work, but didn’t comment about their protocol for informing staff.

One worker was told via message by the close contact about what had happened and got tested. He is waiting on a result and has returned to work.

Family members of two staff members at the distribution centre told Region Media they thought Coles should have notified them and organised time off for testing.

The NSW Health website says anyone who gets tested needs to isolate until they receive a negative test.

Authorities also said the COVID-19 Delta variant recently detected in Sydney is significantly more infectious and has been transmitted by people simply walking past each other.

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