Covid-19: DHHS investigates Jayco, Bestway clusters

At least 18 Jayco workers have tested positive to Covid-19. 175773_01 Picture: GARY SISSONS

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

Health authorities are contact tracing Covid-19 outbreaks at Bestway supermarket in Lonsdale Street Dandenong and Jayco’s factory in Dandenong South.

The cluster of at least eight Bestway back-of-store staff stems from positive test results two weeks ago.

Eighteen Jayco staff have so far tested positive since its first case was detected on Thursday 30 July.

Meanwhile 14 new cases were recorded in Greater Dandenong on 3 August, taking its active cases to 183.

The largest local outbreaks are at Outlook Gardens aged care home in Dandenong North ( 58 cases) and the Woolworths distribution centre in Mulgrave (36).

In neighbouring Casey there were 33 new cases and 297 active.

Victoria recorded 429 new cases and 13 further deaths as it imposes strict curfews, travel limits and business shutdowns to stem the Covid-19 spread.

A Bestway manager told the Star Journal that the first positive case was confirmed on Tuesday 21 July.

He says after notifying the DHHS, he was advised to deep clean the store and self-isolate about 15 staff for two weeks.

The supermarket was not advised to close for any period in the meantime, he said.

Eight back-of-store staff, who had been working in close proximity, tested positive and had since recovered, the manager said.

They had tested Covid-negative and were able to return to work.

Meanwhile, Jayco says it immediately closed the workplace, deep cleaned and informed WorkSafe Victoria after a worker tested positive.

“Staff from this area were tested for COVID-19 on the premises prior to leaving by Jayco’s company doctor and a further 20 staff were tested on Saturday (1 August).”

Jayco has kept its factory and head office closed as a “precautionary measure” as the Department of Health and Human Services conducts contact tracing.

“All staff will receive full pay during this period.

“Our employees who have not yet been tested, have been urged to come forward for testing, should they have any symptoms.”

During Covid-19, Jayco introduced precautions and health measures including a register of workers presenting as unwell.

The workers would be requested to get Covid-19 tests before returning to work, Jayco states.

It has been temperature testing all employees, contractors and visitors onsite and provided sanitisation stations throughout the office and factory.

Mandatory face masks and strict social distancing protocols were in place, it stated.

“Our employees who have returned a positive test for COVID-19, are currently under the care of our

company doctor and DHHS.

“We wish them a full and swift recovery and we will continue to support

them through this period.”

On 3 August, the Department of Health and Human Services announced it was “looking into” clusters at six Melbourne settings, including Bestway and Jayco.

“More information will be provided in coming days as investigations continue.”


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