24/08 Media statement on Countdown's current status re: COVID-19 Alert Level 4

Please attribute to Kiri Hannifin, Countdown’s General Manager Corporate Affairs, Safety and Sustainability.

As of today we have over 1400 of our team members isolating across Auckland and Wellington because their store is a location of interest, because they have a family member who has been impacted by a location of interest, or because they don’t have childcare available or are vulnerable to COVID-19.

We’re expecting this number will continue to increase, and we’re managing this as best as we can. We are recruiting and training but this is a very unusual situation and we’re working as fast as possible. The safety of our team and customers is our top priority.

Currently our Albert Street Metro, Birkenhead, Halsey Street Metro, Hauraki Corner, Mangere Mall and Takanini stores are all temporarily closed due to low team numbers and ensuring we have team members across as many other stores as we can. Any of our stores which are locations of interest will close for deep cleaning, and re-open as soon as possible. We’re trying to keep customers and our website updated in real time as much as we can, but things are moving very fast.

Our online shopping service is under extreme pressure at the moment and we have all hands to the pump to make sure we have both the team in-store to pick the orders, and the delivery slots available for people who need it most, especially our Priority Assistance customers and people who are having to stay home and isolate. We’re asking anyone who can shop in-store to do so, and if you’re able to shop for someone else who might not be able to get to the supermarket easily, that would be helpful too, to help free up space for the people who need it most.

Customers will see some gaps on shelves around the country but our store and supply chain teams are working to quickly reorder and restock what is needed.

We’re currently seeing a number of incidents where customers become aggressive or abusive about masks, which is very upsetting and really hard on our team. It is always incredibly disappointing when our team is subject to abusive behaviour, but it is particularly distressing at a time when the country is experiencing a community outbreak of COVID-19.

Generally New Zealanders are doing a good job at following the rules and doing the right thing, which is fantastic. We’d continue to ask people to respect our team, treat them with kindness, and wear a mask or face covering as is mandatory as directed by the government.

Countdown locations of interest

As of 10am 24 August, 17 of our stores have been visited by someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Countdown locations of interest are:

  • Countdown Birkenhead - visited on Friday, 13 August 6:00pm - 6:30pm and visited three times on Monday, 16 August, 7.00am - 7.15am, 8:10am - 8:20am and 12.30pm - 12.45pm.
  • Countdown Botany Downs - visited on Tuesday, 17 August 10.20am - 10.30 am
  • Countdown Glenfield Mall - visited on Saturday, 14 August at 5pm - 5.15pm and Sunday, 15 August 2021
  • Countdown Greenlane - visited on Tuesday, 17 August 8:27 pm - 8:50 pm and Saturday 21 August at 12:30pm - 1:15pm
  • Countdown Grey Lynn - visited on Tuesday, 17 August 6.52 pm - 7.15 and Wednesday 18 August, 4.45 pm - 5.30 pm
  • Countdown Johnsonville - visited on Wednesday, 18 August 4.30 pm - 5.00 pm
  • Countdown Lincoln Road - visited on Wednesday, 11 August 2.56pm - 3.30pm
  • Countdown Lynfield - visited on Wednesday, 4 August 2.45pm - 3.05pm and Sunday, 15 August at 8pm - 8.15pm
  • Countdown Mangere East - visited on Friday, 20 August, 10.50 am - 10.55 am and Saturday 21 August 12:00pm - 12:10pm
  • Countdown Mangere Mall - visited twice on Tuesday, 17 August, 12:30 pm - 1:00 pm and 5:15 pm - 5:19 pm and Friday, 20 August, 8:00 pm - 8:45 pm
  • Countdown Manukau - visited on Thursday, 19 August 4.53 pm - 5.30 pm
  • Countdown Manurewa - visited on Monday, 16 August 12:00pm - 12:30pm
  • Countdown Newtown - visited on Friday, 20 August 8.05 am - 9.45 am
  • Countdown Takapuna - visited on Sunday, 15 August 3.20pm - 3.30pm
  • Countdown Takanini - visited Thursday, 19 August 7am - 7:10am and Monday, 16 August 10:00am - 10:10am
  • Countdown Victoria Street West - visited on Sunday, 15 August 2.30 pm - 3.15 pm
  • Countdown Westgate Massey - visited Monday, 16 August 5pm - 6pm

As a precaution, deep cleans have been undertaken in each of these stores in addition to the thorough cleaning that is undertaken during each day, which has been further increased following the recent alert level change. Any team members who were working during the time of the visits have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days and be tested three times as per the guidance we have received from Auckland Public Health.

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