By Nick Sinis
IT WAS an extraordinary weekend for dozens of businesses throughout Phillip Island and San Remo as exposure sites continued to be listed by authorities.
As of Monday, July 19, there were 24 exposure sites listed in Cowes, two in San Remo and Churchill Island was also added, with a mixture of Tier 1, 2 and 3 health advice ratings.
Thousands of residents throughout Phillip Island came forward to get tested, spending hours in queues as health services ramped up their facilities to cater to the influx.
And for Phillip Island Ten Pin Bowling and Entertainment, they were one of the first businesses to be notified that a positive case had attended the venue.
The business is listed as a Tier 1 exposure site, after the case had visited on Wednesday, July 14 from 1.15pm to 3.45pm, and was added as an exposure site on Friday (July 16) afternoon.
Speaking with the Sentinel-Times was owner Craig Holmes, who said fortunately all staff who were exposed, including himself, had tested negative.
“Even those staff that weren’t there on the day, I’ve asked to get tested and everyone has come back negative,” Mr Holmes said.
“That is a really good sign, and the three staff that were Tier 1 are currently in quarantine for 14 days.
“Unfortunately for myself, I attended a Tier 1 at a different venue, so I’m also in quarantine.”
While Craig’s business is unable to open due to current restrictions, it will undergo a deep-clean today.
“We’ve got hold of a local gentleman that we know quite well and who’s credited in doing these deep cleans,” he said.
“But we’ve asked for him to focus on getting those businesses that can open immediately after a deep clean, like cafes and anyone dealing with food.”
Mr Holmes said the next step was for the staff to get their COVID tests again, and he was hopeful to reopen by the end of the month.
“It was a bit overwhelming initially, but once I had a day to think about it and then hear about all the other businesses, and the rest of the island and how it’s affected everybody down here,” he said.
And in more promising news, all staff who were tested at San Remo Fishermans Co-Op also returned negative results.
“All five of them have come up negative, but they still need to isolate for a full 14 days and get tested on the 13th,” general manager Paul Mannix said.
“A lot of other staff, including myself, have been tested and we’re all negative too.
“We’ve done our full deep clean, so the building is ready to go and we’re ready to rock.
“But we’ve decided to play it safe and just wait until Wednesday (July 21) to open.”
Mr Mannix said while the situation had been a “tough pill to swallow”, but they were looking forward to serving customers again.
“The whole thing was quite nerve-racking and slightly frustrating because we have spent the entire pandemic being as vigilant as possible,” he said.
The community is strongly urged to continue to get tested for any symptoms of COVID-19, and constantly check for exposure site updates at coronavirus.vic.gov.au/exposure-sites.