Store taking safety measures, staying open until deadline

The pace of the Covid-19 outbreak means Clyde businesswoman Kim Johnstone needs to shut up shop.

The former nurse and owner of the Clyde Village Store and Cafe in the town’s main street had implemented a raft of measures to keep customers, her staff and herself safe as the country moved closer to total lockdown.

That came yesterday when Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced all non-essential businesses would close within 48 hours.

She would hold on until she was forced to close, Ms Johnstone said.

Her measures were well-intentioned, the most significant one being "no-contact" buying where customers could call the store, pay securely over the phone and then pick up their order from a collection box at the front of the store.

Ms Johnstone said yesterday she was "breathing".

"I could see this coming at us like a freight train."

While she was not stopping people from coming into the Sunderland St store yesterday she was aware of the fears some in the community had, and the potential for the Government to take more preventive measures, and began taking protective measures at the store on Friday.

The situation had moved fast but she defended her decision to implement protection measures despite some critics, she said.

"People are self-isolating and I wanted to provide an option for people if they wanted to protect themselves," Ms Johnstone said.

As a former nurse she had "a really good concept of how to protect oneself" and she would be exploring options such as preparing meals to be delivered to people through agencies such as Meals on Wheels.

She intended to contact the Central Otago District Council and was prepared to mobilise if called upon to do so.

"I’ve got a full commercial kitchen and the ability to cook meals to be delivered.

"We are going to need these little things to keep going."


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