A major Goulburn freight company has temporarily closed its doors after two drivers were considered casual COVID contacts.
Grangers Freight Lines co-owner Peter Granger said two of his drivers delivered to a Southern Highlands site every day in the last two weeks where a Sydney man had been working. The man had tested positive to COVID in Sydney earlier this week but was not infectious while he was in the Southern Highlands, Mr Granger said.
But as a precaution, Grangers closed its Goulburn and Moss Vale depots on Thursday and sent all 27 workers to be tested.
"We were notified by NSW Health and the Southern Highlands company on Thursday afternoon that our drivers were not considered close contacts," Mr Granger said.
"With that in mind, and because our drivers go to so many sites, we decided not to expose the community to any contact until we knew the results were negative."
The Highlands company to which Grangers delivered had already returned negative results, Mr Granger told The Post. It too closed its doors as a precaution.
Grangers' two drivers had delivered goods to the front of the premises. The Sydney man had been working in a rear section.
The Sydney man was not from a hot spot and had undergone COVID testing every seven days in-line with health regulations.
"Everyone has done the right thing," Mr Granger said.
"In this scenario it is best for everyone to get tested. Some could see it as an over-reaction but we felt we needed to do it because our drivers go to more than 100 sites a day."
They wear masks and utilise QR codes. The company also has a COVID plan in place. SafeWork NSW attended the premises earlier this week as part of standard business checks to ensure compliance with COVID regulations.
Employees are awaiting their results. Mr Granger said Goulburn workers attended the local hospital yesterday but at Bowral Hospital, because the testing clinic was closed, were told to come back on Friday morning.
He believed NSW Health needed to ramp up its test result turnaround.
"They say Sydney workers (going to the regions) should be tested every three days but people are not getting the results back for three to four days. That means they can miss out on up to two days' work," Mr Granger said.
"NSW Health told us our results would take 24 to 48 hours but in reality we could be closed until Tuesday and that's a big hit."
Grangers delivers throughout the region, wider NSW and interstate. Four drivers who travel to Sydney and interstate are tested regularly.
A minimum four B-doubles deliver to Oxley Street, west Goulburn depot daily.
"It's a huge disruption because we deliver to shopping centres and just about every business in Goulburn. I have one driver who goes to 200 sites," Mr Granger said.
He hopes the business will re-open on Monday. It's the first time it has closed since his parents started the business in 1953. Even when his father died, Mr Granger said it stayed open, in line with his dad's wishes.
Meantime, he has had difficulty getting a coronavirus vaccine himself. Mr Granger said he had previously tried to make an appointment at a Goulburn clinic but was told there was a shortage of vaccines generally.
For now he is isolating until he returns a negative result.
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