Contactless living increases

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Gaylene Thompson, of Tinwald Supervalue, says the shelves are full, and people are buying what they need, not stockpiling.

Online ordering, telephone orders and contactless delivery are on the rise as the surge in positive covid cases increases in Ashburton.

Positive cases significantly increased this week and with people becoming increasingly covid
cautious, more businesses have staff working from home, on separated shifts or different offices while others had limited public access to buildings or changed service options; contactless and online services were becoming more popular.

Frequent rapid antigen testing is also being done by some businesses providing critical services and more pupils are doing at home learning.

Tinwald Supervalue co-owner Gaylene Thompson said their online ordering and delivery, in place since lockdown 2020, had customers around the district, although the majority were on the south side of the Ashburton River.

The shelves were full, people were buying sensibly (not stockpiling) and products were able to be sourced from alternative suppliers directly as necessary.

There is uncertainty, she said. ‘‘But we’ll do the best we can with what we can get.’’

The supermarket had regular online customers but it had been beneficial for people who were now isolating or covid cautious, she said.

During past lockdowns there were up to 10 people a day phoning to order groceries, on top of the online orders.

The service is available six days a week in town, and up to three days a week for rural deliveries, she said.

A contactless pick-up option was also in the planning stages. It would allow people to order their groceries and have them delivered to them in the car park, contactlessly.

Some people get regular deliveries through the service, others buy in store but go online when it suits, she said.

There were also people still phoning their delivery orders through, which was fine, Mrs
Thompson said.

They were usually older customers, or those with limited or no online services at home.

Covid cases across the district have resulted in a growing number of cases at schools and some parents had chosen to have children learning from home.

The Ministry of Education has clear information for schools to distribute to parents about protocols in place, and their ability to remain open.

Ashburton College principal Ross Preece, speaking to the college school community, said it was only natural as cases in the community increased, they would appear at the school.

‘‘We have really good systems in place to respond to this and to keep any spread of the virus, should it appear, to a minimum.’’

He said research had suggested covid transmission at schools was very low (less than four percent).

‘‘This is why we remain open at Red. It’s great for a child’s wellbeing and learning to be at school with their friends and school staff, and we have very good systems in place to keep everyone as safe as possible.’’