#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos – Monday July 14, 2020 — A deeply concerning reveal on Monday evening, when a leading grocer announced it had to suddenly shut down due to Covid 19.
Now at 72 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic, Turks and Caicos is recording a steady climb of positive cases of Covid 19 and it is beginning to impact retail and wholesale spaces. At least two major stores have had, in the past week, to shut their doors when at least one member of staff was confirmed with the virus.
Wine Cellar announced its closure last week. Last night, it was Graceway IGA – the country’s largest grocery store.
IGA closed an hour early on Monday July 13 and informed that it would remain that way until noon Tuesday July 14.
The public statement said the Ministry of Health informed the company that a staff member was positive for the coronavirus and that led to the 18-hour closure and deep cleaning of the Leeward Highway located store.
In response to our questions about the rapid rate of reopening; IGA replied that their reopening is not too swift as management had prepared for this potential eventuality.
“As cases of Covid began to proliferate on island, we realised that we needed to prepare our plan of response for when/if a colleague tested positive. Once we were informed of the positive test, we were able to quickly activate those protocols. Parkway Cleaning, a professional cleaning service, was commissioned to conduct a thorough deep clean of the entire building during the overnight hours.”
Images of the deep and electrostatic cleaning at Graceway IGA were shared with Magnetic Media by management, which added in their media response that, “This was done in consultation with the Department of Environmental Health.”
No specific department of the store of the positive case is revealed, instead Graceway Supermarkets offered this explanation: “…the contacts of that staff member were sent home to self-isolate in accordance with the Ministry of Health guidelines.
Staff are naturally concerned, especially for their colleague. Employees are reassured of our safety measures and our support in the event anyone gets ill.”
It was also shared, that shopping carts and high touch areas were a part of that cleaning exercise.
Both IGA and Wine Cellar are now reopened.
Wine Cellar informed in a statement that in addition to mandatory mask wearing of staff and customers and hand sanitizer at entrances, their in-office workforce has been reduced and staff will now undergo daily temperature checks.
Turks and Caicos currently has 58 active cases of Covid-19.