Businesses suffer from staff shortages and supply problems as Covid hits Coffs – News Of The Area

Empty shelves at local supermarkets have once again become a familiar sight on the Coffs coast as Covid-19 cases peak in the community. Photos: Emma Darbin.

THE rapid spread of the Covid-19 virus across the Coffs coast over the Christmas and New Year period has forced many businesses to reduce opening hours and suffer supply problems as staff are constrained to isolate themselves due to a diagnosis of Covid-19 or to be in close contact with a positive case.

Coffs Harbor City Council has been actively monitoring staffing levels and any associated impact on council services this week and released this statement on Monday 10 January.

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“Understaffing means Jetty Beach will not have lifeguards on duty today,” a council spokesperson said.

“Please exercise caution if swimming at Pier Beach, the nearest lifeguards will be located at Park Beach.

“We will seek to notify the community as soon as possible of any changes to the services through our social media channels, website and normal media channels.”

Other local businesses have taken to social media to alert customers of their closures or reduced opening hours due to a shortage of staff due to public health isolation requirements.

The Hoey Moey announced reduced trading hours for last weekend and a modified Bistro menu on its Facebook page.

“My friends, we held on as long as we could, but the inevitable happened…we’re understaffed, so we need to cut negotiation times,” the company said.

Moonee Beach Hotel also took to Facebook on Sunday, January 9 to inform guests that “unfortunately, due to understaffing in our kitchen, we will be operating with a reduced menu.”

Woolgoolga Diggers took to Facebook to announce that her Beach St Dining restaurant will be operating on a temporary menu and will be closed on Mondays until further notice.

Lotus Floral Studio in Woolgoolga has announced a return to its previous lockdown setup due to the current local Covid climate in the community when the store reopens on Tuesday January 18.

“Our doors will be closed for a personalized ride…but we will be taking phone and email orders for contactless delivery and arranged pickup outside our store,” store staff said.

“To keep me and our team Covid free so we can continue to trade during this difficult time for small businesses.”

Empty shelves have greeted shoppers at local supermarkets over the past week, particularly in the toilet paper/tissue aisles and cold meat sections of supermarkets, as supply chains have stretched due to the isolation of staff across NSW.

Aldi Australia CEO Tom Daunt has apologized to customers for delays in supplies to Aldi supermarkets across the state.

“The increase in COVID cases has had a significant impact on the supply of food and groceries, as labor shortages in food production and supplier logistics have soared,” said Mr Daunt.

“As the country transitions from a strategy of repression to a strategy where we live with COVID, we have already started to encounter certain obstacles, including labor shortages due to illness or isolation from the COVID.

“Many of our valued business partners who supply our products are understaffed – and at ALDI we are experiencing this too.”

Coles Group CEO Steven Cain has sent a message to customers and the supermarket chain has imposed a temporary limit on certain purchases to help manage current customer demand, including the purchase of just two packs of chicken products and red meat from the store’s meat department as well as a limit of one rapid antigen test pack per customer.

“A rise in the number of COVID cases in the community has forced more people into self-isolation, meaning fewer people are available to work in Australia – including in the food industry,” Mr Cain said. .

“At Coles, this has led to disruptions in deliveries from our suppliers, which has impacted the availability of certain products in our stores.

“We anticipate it will take several weeks to fully recover.”

Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci has also contacted customers about the current situation.

“When shopping with us right now, you may have unfortunately noticed shelf gaps or substitutions in your online order,” Banducci said.

“This is due to the number of isolated people in our supply chain.

“We are currently experiencing 20%+ COVID-related absences at our fulfillment centers and 10%+ at our stores.”

Covid-19 positive cases must now self-isolate immediately for 7 days from the day of the test until they test negative and take precautions (such as wearing a mask) and avoid high-risk environments such as hospitals and elderly care for another 3 days.

Close contacts, a household contact, or those spending more than 4 hours with a positive Covid case in a residential setting, should self-isolate for 7 days from the day of exposure and begin rapid antigen testing as soon as possible followed by another rapid antigen test on Day 6.

People who test positive for Covid-19 from a rapid antigen test will soon be able to register their positive diagnosis with the NSW Service or NSW Health and will be able to access appropriate health advice and support.

The number of Covid-19 cases statewide is expected to peak by the end of January.

In anticipation of this increase, non-elective surgery will continue to be suspended in public hospitals in NSW until February during this latest outbreak.

Previous public health restrictions have also been reintroduced in social settings to help halt the current spread of the Covid-19 virus, which includes bans on singing or dancing in hospitality venues (including pubs, clubs, discotheques, bars and restaurants), entertainment facilities and main leisure activities. installations from Saturday January 8 to Thursday January 27.

Major events scheduled for the coming weeks will be risk assessed by NSW Health and the Prime Minister and Cabinet Office.

Event organizers should assume that their event will run unchanged unless contacted by NSW Health to advise otherwise.

The NSW Government continues to encourage people to take extra precautions to reduce their risk of contracting Covid-19, including:
● Limit large family gatherings and outdoor gatherings where possible
● Remain seated while drinking in reception areas

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the best way to keep communities safe was through the booster program and said workers who needed to be fully vaccinated to work year-round will now need a booster vaccination.

“Anyone for whom vaccination was already mandatory will now have mandatory boosters,” Hazzard said.

“This means that for people working in particular settings to be classified as fully vaccinated, they will now need to have received three vaccines.

“Boosters provide additional protection not only for you, but also for your colleagues, loved ones and community.”

Pfizer Covid-19 vaccinations for children aged 5 to 11 are now available from Monday, January 10, with children due to receive two doses of the vaccine eight weeks apart.

By Emma Darwin

Empty shelves at local supermarkets have once again become a familiar sight on the Coffs coast as Covid-19 cases peak in the community. Photos: Emma Darbin.


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