'Not something we wanted to hide': Swift Current businesses dealing with COVID-19 presence
SWIFT CURRENT -- Nine businesses in Swift Current have been confirmed as places where people who have tested positive for COVID-19 visited between June 29 and July 10.
Great West Auto Electric (Bumper to Bumper) is one of those businesses and the owner confirmed it was an employee who tested positive.
“The first thing I started doing was phoning all our customers. Some of them knew already,” said Leanne Tuntland-Wiebe, who is the office manager and owner. “They don’t know which employee it was and we don’t disclose that.”
Tuntland-Wiebe said the employee was in the shop on July 6 and 7, and received the positive test results on July 11.
“My four counter people had to go home to self isolate. They’re the ones who are in the closest contact all day long,” she said. “The rest of us were all assessed and we decided that we were non-close contact, but we have to self monitor.”
She said the staff of 15 people is getting tested for peace of mind.
The shop conducted thorough cleaning before opening to the public again. It’s now implementing more physical distancing between employees and customers, and masks are being provided.
In total, nine businesses in the city were visited over the past couple of weeks by someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority said it could not confirm how many people tested positive who visited the businesses, but did confirm it is more than one.
The businesses are:
- K Motel, Swift Current, June 29, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. & July 8, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
- Credit Union, Swift Current, July 6, multiple times (Date has been corrected)
- Dickson Agencies, Swift Current, July 6, multiple times (Date has been corrected)
- Lac Pelletier Regional Park Golf Course clubhouse, July 5, 3:45-4 p.m.
- Great West Auto Electric Ltd (Bumper-to-Bumper), Swift Current, July 6 and July 7, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Walmart, Swift Current, July 7, 6:30-6:45 p.m.
- Pioneer Co-op Grocery store (Mall location), Swift Current, July 7, 5:20-5:50 p.m.
- Canadian Tire, Swift Current, July 7, 7:50-8 p.m.
- Canadian Tire, Swift Current, July 8, 12:30-1 p.m.
- Cabri Co-op, July 9, 11-11:15 a.m.
- Canadian Tire, Swift Current, July 10, unknown time.
The Swift Current Chamber of Commerce said the businesses are taking cleaning protocols, and have since been reopening.
“The individuals that were positive for COVID-19 had visited there and they’ve all implemented very stringent cleaning practices because they want to serve their customers,” said Karla Wiens, the CEO of the Swift Current Chamber of Commerce. “For those who are concerned, please contact and reach out to those businesses, but don’t be scared to go into their place of business.”
Tuntland-Wiebe said word about the potential spread moved quickly before it was officially announced to the public. She said she wanted to remain transparent to the community, which is why she made a public post on Facebook about what was going on.
“The rumours were already flying. I don’t know how they were, but they were,” she said. “It’s not something we wanted to hide. We wanted people to know yes it is here, this is what we can do for it and this is what you need to do.”
Meanwhile, Wiens said this acts as a reminder for people to remain calm and kind during the pandemic.
“No one wants to get COVID-19, and certainly no one wants to pass it along,” Wiens said. “We’re all in the same boat together.”
The SHA said anyone who visited the impacted businesses during the listed times should self monitor. They should self isolate and call 811 immediately if symptoms occur.
The province is reminding residents in all areas of Saskatchewan to continue following public health orders to prevent the risk of spreading COVID-19. Those include physical distancing, frequent handwashing and staying home when sick.