Employees of Road Lodge in Roodepoort fear for their lives, and have accused management of exposing them to danger that resulted in 47% of workers, including the general manager testing positive for Covid-19.
Employees of Road Lodge in Roodepoort fear for their lives, and have accused management of exposing them to danger that resulted in 47% of workers, including the general manager testing positive for Covid-19.

Roodepoort lodge staff say 47% of them have Covid-19 because management exposed them

By Chulumanco Mahamba Time of article published Jul 7, 2020

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Employees of Road Lodge in Roodepoort fear for their lives, and have accused management of exposing them to danger that resulted in 47% of workers, including the general manager testing positive for Covid-19.

The City Lodge Hotel Group confirmed that 47% of its 17 employees at the lodge had tested positive.

On June 22, the receptionist from the hotel near the MTN Head Office reportedly began developing Covid-19 symptoms. It was then apparently confirmed on June 25 that she had tested positive.

“After she tested positive, management decided to say that only those who worked with her on her last day at work would go and get tested,” an employee who asked to remain anonymous told The Star on Monday.

The employee said the following day, Twitter user @SunOfAfrica4 posted that the hotel was exposing its workers to the virus.

“Town Lodge (City Lodge) at 14th Avenue is exposing its workers to Covid-19 after a receptionist tested positive. The management wants only those she worked with on the last day tested, yet she has been at work all week,” the user posted.

The employee alleged that following the tweet, the company decided to test all employees at the lodge and placed the results much higher than the 47% confirmed by the establishment.

“We went for testing but most of the people are positive.

“I think (this involved) about 12 people, which is 80% of the staff, including the hotel’s general manager,” the employee alleged.

Communications and Public Relations consultant on behalf of the City Lodge Hotel Group Susan Reynard, however, told The Star on Monday that eight out of a total of 17 staff members tested positive and that all staff who tested positive were asymptomatic.

“From the time the first member of staff, who had been off since June 18, called to inform management that she was Covid-19 positive on June 23, a thorough contact-and-trace process was conducted.

“Once it was established who the affected staff were, they were asked to get tested. Management acted immediately, from the time the staff member came forward to inform of her status,” Reynard said.

The hotel was allegedly closed to allow employees to quarantine at home and for deep cleaning. However, employees alleged that the general manager continued to report for work.

“The general manager continued to go to work and we didn’t understand how and why because everyone is supposed to quarantine at home but she was busy going to work while other people were at home quarantining with their families,” the employee said.

Reynard said the hotel was under temporary suspension of services or shut-down, and staff were playing a minimal role of house sitting during various shifts.

“In discussion with management, the general manager has elected to self-isolate at the hotel and she is asymptomatic,” she said.

The employee added that it appeared as if the few employees who tested negative would be required to report back to work soon. However, there were safety concerns.

“The company is supposed to keep those (hotels) as accommodation for people to at least quarantine because it’s not safe to be with their families at home,” the employee said.

Reynard said the hotel’s management had assessed the situation and a Covid-19 response team conducted a full track-and-trace operation.

“The staff will be re-trained on all protocols and strict adherence to the group’s Covid-19 protocols will be monitored going forward.

“Deep cleaning and a Covid-19 risk assessment audit will be carried out by an independent company prior to fully opening the hotel to the public for trading,” she said. @Chulu_M

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