Coles Distribution Centre employee tests postive to virus


By Alesha Capone

A worker from the Coles Distribution Centre in Truganina has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Although the case has been widely reported as being diagnosed in a worker from a Coles Laverton distribution centre, a Coles spokesperson confirmed to Star Weekly that the worker was actually based at a distribution centre located in Distribution Drive, Truganina (which is sometimes called the “Coles Laverton Distribution Centre”).

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) said the Coles staff member worked while infectious last week.

The case has been linked to a family outbreak of COVID-19 in Keilor Downs.

The DHHS said that close contacts of the Coles worker have been identified and quarantined.

“The centre commenced a deep clean last night,” the DHHS said in a statement.

“Due to its size, regular cleaning measures and physical distancing, the risk of transmission is very low.

“The centre will be able to continue to operate with strict physical distancing to ensure safe food and grocery supply across the state.”

Coles has also issued a statement, saying that it is working closely with the DHHS.

“Coles conducted contact tracing and a small number of team members identified as having had close contact have been instructed to self-isolate and be tested for COVID,” the statement said.

“Coles’ standard cleaning procedures comply with government hygiene and safety guidelines.

“As an added precaution, Coles has conducted additional deep cleans of the facility.

“The safety of our team members and customers is our number one priority and Coles has high standards in place for hygiene at all stores, distribution and support centres.

“Distribution centre team members do not manually handle individual grocery products, which are packaged in larger crates and cartons during distribution.

“All Coles distribution centres including the Laverton site have thermal imaging cameras and handheld contactless thermometers to check the temperature of all team members and transport providers prior to entering the facility.

“Sanitiser stations are located at all entrances and exits and throughout the facility, and visible guidelines are in place to help team members maintain social distancing.

“High-traffic areas are regularly sanitised and machinery operated by team members is sanitised between uses, while shift times have been adjusted to minimise the number of team members utilising break room facilities at the same time.”