I am a local and shop regularly at Coles, Toukley.
With COVID 19 appearing on the Central Coast in this second outbreak and calls for greater caution, I was appalled to shop there on August 1 to find COVID regulations and store responsibility not being practised by customers and staff.
Two male customers were yahoo-ing around the store without masks and coming into very close contact with other shoppers as they gathered their items.
Several staff saw this but no one said anything to them.
Even the supervisor at the self-serve checkouts just looked on as they checked out in a space-restricted area.
There certainly wasn’t 1.5m to 2m between them and the others at the checkout.
Even worse, a female staff member on duty in the store was not wearing a mask and making no effort to socially distance from customers.
The self-serve checkouts had obviously not been cleaned as the surfaces of the computer touch screen and bagging platform were grimy, smeared with finger and other marks and when I cleaned them with my trolley wipe, it came away blackened and sticky.
No staff were checking COVID sign-ins and dozens of people were walking in without registering, many in groups of more than two.
Yes, this is more of an individual’s responsibility, but Coles had previously enforced a single ingress to the store and checked that everyone entering had signed in and sanitised.
They had also actively enforced social distancing at the checkouts by closing alternate checkouts.
During the first outbreak, it was reassuring to shop at this store, because of their diligent COVID-safe measures.
This time, their severely slackened attitude to COVID safety was very unsettling and quite scary.
You are one of only two supermarkets in Toukley/Noraville and you may feel you have the locals in your hands.
Take your corporate and civic responsibilities seriously, just as you easily take the custom and cash of the community that depends on your store.
Email, Aug 1
Rea Rold, Toukley
EDITOR’S NOTE: A Coles spokesperson said there were some staff at the Toukley store who have medical exemptions and are wearing badges that explain to concerned customers about the lack of masks. “We take COVID safety extremely seriously and continue to work with NSW Government and police to keep customers and team members safe. We ask customers to wear a mask before entering any of our NSW stores unless they have an exemption. Coles introduced QR codes in NSW voluntarily in December and encourage customers to check-in each time using the QR codes on display at the front of the store, above the sanitiser stations within the store or at the checkpoint. We have also increased the frequency of cleaning in high touchpoint areas including self-checkout screens and keypads. We thank customers for their feedback and have passed this on to the Toukley store manager.”