In a Facebook post, Chewton Service Station confirmed that Julie was advised on Monday that she was considered a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19.

“We are devastated to advise that we need to be closed until Friday, the 30th of July,” the post read.

“Julie was advised on Monday night that she was considered a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19 and therefore has to isolate for 14 days from date of exposure, despite all staff returning negative test results as of this (Wednesday) morning.”

The post said that Julie had not worked at the service station since prior to her potential exposure to coronavirus and has received her first dose of vaccine.

“Out of an abundance of caution and due to all staff being possible close contacts, we will remain closed for the duration as the safety of our family, customers and community are our paramount concern,” the Facebook post said.

“We consider there to be very little risk of transmission.

“As you all know, we take every precaution to ensure we provide a COVIDSafe environment for our customers and we will continue to do so moving forward.”

Be.Bendigo chief executive Dennis Bice said the news of Chewton Service Station’s closure was upsetting, but was hopeful the community would continue to support local businesses where possible.

“If there’s one thing we’ve learnt from coronavirus, it’s that the support of the community has been amazing,” he said. “There are grants available to businesses who are forced to close and support around the deep cleaning they will have to do.

“We continue to encourage the community to support local businesses where they can.”

Mr Bice was comforted by central Victorian’s willing to support their local businesses after the Axedale Tavern and Bendigo’s Hairfolk were both forced to shut their doors in June after being listed as tier one and tier two exposure sites respectively.

“There have been two other local businesses who were forced to close last lockdown and my understanding is they received huge support from the community,” Mr Bice said.

“This is a difficult time for all businesses and it can be really taxing for the business and the staff’s mental health.

Any lockdown is detrimental to business and it’s difficult for everyone to keep stopping and starting.

Dennis Bice

The Chewton Service Station thanked the community for their support and reminded customers to remain vigilant and to get tested at any sign of symptoms.

Extracted in full from: Chewton Service Station closed after close contact with positive Covid case | Bendigo Advertiser | Bendigo, VIC