Dolly’s Home Hardware closed its doors for a day on Nov. 18, 2020, to conduct a major cleanup after an employee tested positiv for COVID-19. (Michael Briones photo)

Dolly’s Home Hardware closed its doors for a day on Nov. 18, 2020, to conduct a major cleanup after an employee tested positiv for COVID-19. (Michael Briones photo)

Qualicum Beach hardware store closes for cleaning after staff member tests positive for COVID-19

Facility will be completely sanitized before re-opening

Dolly’s Home Hardware in Qualicum Beach has closed its doors today (Nov. 18) to thoroughly disinfect the store after one of its employees tested positive for COVID-19.

The employee, who was last in the store Saturday, Nov. 14, was tested on Nov. 16 and the positive result was known on Nov. 17. The employee is now self-isolating.

The owners of the store indicated that any staff member identified as being in direct contact with the infected individual will also be subjected to follow Island Health guidelines.

As a precaution, the business has decided to voluntarily close its doors for one day to completely sanitize the store.

“The health and safety of our employees and our local community is paramount,” the store stated on its Facebook page.

The message stated the store remains committed to following all health and safety guidelines set out by Island Health, including wearing masks, physical distancing, proper hand hygiene and enhanced cleaning protocols.

RELATED: Low-risk COVID-19 exposure causes Qualicum Beach Legion to close for 10 days

“Absolutely no one will be allowed into our store when we re-open without sanitizing hands in front of staff and wearing a mask/face shield,” the message stated. “The safety of our staff and customers is more important than a few minutes of discomfort.”

This is the second location in Qualicum Beach that had to close down due to COVID-19 exposure. The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 76 shut down for 10 days due to low risk exposure case that happened on Nov. 7-8. They will re-open on Nov. 23.

Mayor Brian Wiese said it is a serious concern that all residents and visitors to Qualicum Beach must be diligently cognizant of.

“It is scary,” said Wiese. “I think everyone here got a little bit laxed that we were doing so good, myself included. A couple of time I go out, I leave my truck. I got two or three masks there. I leave for a second and next thing I know I am talking to someone and I don’t have my mask on. It’s just one of things, you get a little lax.”

Wiese said that the Island has been getting more visitors from out of the province who visit Qualicum Beach as most can’t travel out of the country due to the pandemic.

“We all expect the second wave, guess what. It’s here,” said Wiese. “We have to get back to work and stay vigilant. We have to bring it back to wearing masks all the time. I don’t want Island Health or the province to step in and say okay we’re shutting right down. I am positive the shut downs have hurt more people than COVID has. So we the citizens of beautiful Qualicum Beach need to step up our game. We need to wear masks. Sanitize, sanitize, sanitize.”

Wiese also encourage residents to be active and enjoy myriad of outdoor trails and recreational amenities that are available to everyone.

“Get out and get some exercise,” said Wiese. “We have the most beautiful pathways and forests than any town I am sure in Canada has. Go out. Of course maintain your distance. Wear a mask if you need to.”

As of Nov. 18, there are 114 active cases of COVID-19 in the Island Health region that includes Parksville Qualicum Beach, Nanaimo, Ladysmith, Port Alberni, and Comox Valley.

According to BC Health, there were 717 new cases of COVID-19 and 11 deaths reported on Tuesday, Nov. 17. It was the highest single-day totals for new cases and deaths.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

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