AS the situation surrounding Coronavirus continues it is clear to see that there has been a significant impact on the local economy.
A walk through the centre of Limavady confirms this with shop shutters pulled and footfall at an all time low.
Many businesses have now closed and only a handful remains open to the public.
The businesses which remain open are primarily grocery stores and pharmacies which have introduced strategies to reduce the risk of infection.
Culbertson’s Spar at Kennaught Terrace and Coolessan have closed their deli counters, built perspex screens at tills and have marked out queuing points to impose ‘social distancing’ to protect both staff and customers.
The store has also been making deliveries for the elderly and vulnerable who are in need in the local community.
The store has reduced evening hours but store owner, Trevor Culbertson has pledged that the store will remain open “as long as the law allows.”
Trevor has spoke to the Northern Constitution about virus infection preventions installed at the Spar stores. Trevor said:
“Our staff are wearing gloves and masks as a precaution along with the perspex glass at tills and cleaning is done regularly.
“The floor is marked out for customers to let them know where to stand.
“There has been a steady flow in our stores.
“It hasn’t been bunged but it hasn’t been totally empty either.
“ Everyone has thankfully stayed calm and aren’t going crazy buying in bulk in our shops.”
Every little helps
Other stores have implemented their own measures to combat the spread of the virus.
Tesco now have a put a limit on the amount of people entering the store at any one time and Lidl have a designated hour every morning for the elderly to do their shopping mirroring many stores across the UK and Ireland.
New strategies for Community pharmacies
Gormley’s Pharmacy on Irish Green Street are still continuing to provide medication for local people but now have built a structure at the chemist’s doors to prevent people from coming into the building.
Customers can collect their medication through a newly created hatch.
Other pharmacies in Limavady are taking a similar approach with customers no longer able to enter the premises.
The majority of pharmacies will now open an hour later in the morning from 10am and close between 1pm and 2pm to allow staff time to re-stock.
Changes are also being made to the way repeat prescriptions are ordered.
People who need repeat prescriptions are advised to order these from the GP surgeries seven days before their prescriptions run out and to allow extra time for these to be ready for collection. Community pharmacies will phone the patient to advise when these are ready for collection.
Urgent prescriptions can still be ordered and collected from the GP to bring to the pharmacy.
You may also need to allow longer than usual to have these dispensed.
People are being reminded to only order the prescriptions they need as over ordering wastes valuable and limited health service resources.
People who are unwell or who have a new continuous cough or a raised temperature should not come to either the GP surgery or the pharmacy but should send someone else instead.
Health centres at Bovally and Scroggy Road remain closed to the public however contact is available should anyone need to speak with their GP.