COVID cleaning costs pharmacies

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COVID-19 infections have reached pharmacy, prompting a call for help with Government assistance

Anthony Tassone, Victorian branch president of the Pharmacy Guild, says that the sector is beginning to feel the effects of the state’s spike in cases of infection with the novel coronavirus.

Victoria recorded a record 127 cases as of Monday morning, as well as the death of a man in his 90s.

“Unfortunately we have had some instances of pharmacies with positive COVID cases on the staff and have had to have their pharmacies closed and professionally cleaned,” Mr Tassone told the AJP.

“This comes at a very significant cost in the thousands of dollars.

“There is currently no State government assistance or offset for this which is very disappointing given how critical community pharmacies were as the pandemic first broke and have been throughout. 

“This must be looked at by the Victorian government as a matter of urgency in an already very challenging environment to remain open and continue to deliver services for some pharmacies and to maintain safety for the public.”

One recent case of infection in a Victorian community pharmacy was that of the Quality Pharmacy at Pacific Epping shopping centre, which was closed last week for deep cleaning after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

The Northern Star Weekly reports that the employee had worked in the store on June 22 and 23, and that the pharmacy had been working with the State Government to assist with contact tracing.

The pharmacy has since re-opened.

In April an Ipswich, Queensland pharmacy was temporarily closed due to a staff member testing positive for COVID-19, and the same happened to an Adelaide pharmacy earlier that month.

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