Lennoxville Provigo confirms COVID among staff

By Gordon Lambie

Robert Lafond, owner of the Lennoxville Provigo store, confirmed to The Record on Sunday that there has been a case of COVID-19 confirmed among the members of the grocery store’s staff. Although he assured that measures have been taken to ensure the safety of staff and customers, he declined to comment on the implications of the positive test for store operations.
Joanne Héroux, Provigo’s Senior Director of Corporate Affairs and Communications said that the chain’s protocol calls on any employee who shows symptoms to self-isolate immediately. Although she said that there is no requirement for testing, a staff member who does so and receives a positive result is expected to inform their workplace immediately.
Speaking directly to the case in Lennoxville, Héroux said that the employee with the positive case last worked a shift at the store on Thursday, September 10, and started to develop symptoms on the 11. Both the individual in question and his brother, also a store employee, were told not to come in.
In more general terms Héroux put great faith in Provigo’s established protocols for social distancing and disinfection in the workplace, noting that with only one or two exceptions, there have been no situations of an infection spreading within a workplace anywhere in the Province. In those exceptions, she noted, internal investigation showed that distancing measures were not being properly respected.
When a positive diagnosis is confirmed, the communications director said, the entire store is disinfected and the staff questioned to make sure proper measures were being taken to limit viral spread. In the case that this internal investigation produces concern, individuals who may have been in contact with the infected individual are encouraged to self-isolate.
Asked about a concern that some stores may be lowering their guard when it comes to some public health measures, such as limiting store capacity, Héroux said that all Provigo stores are expected to follow the current guidelines set by the government. While she pointed out that that the actual number of people allowed inside may vary from store to store because of differences in square footage, she said all locations should still be monitoring and controlling the number of customers inside at any given time.
“All stores must respect that,” she said.
COVID-19 Update
The Estrie region reported 26 new cases on Saturday and 15 on Sunday, numbers high enough to keep the region well within its yellow alert status for this coming week.
The region also recorded its first new COVID-19 related death since June over the weekend, linked to the outbreak at the Lambton long-term care home.
Across the province, meanwhile, the number of new cases was 279, with hospitalizations decreasing by one to 124 and the number of people in intensive care increasing by three to 19.

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