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Coronavirus outbreak among workers at Wellesbourne distribution centre





Warwickshire County Council's Shire Hall headquarters in Warwick.
Warwickshire County Council's Shire Hall headquarters in Warwick.

An outbreak of coronavirus among workers at a Wellesbourne distribution centre is being managed by Public Health England (PHE) and Warwickshire County Council.

There have been 39 confirmed cases among people working at the centre, which is run by Amethyst Group.

Dr Mamoona Tahir, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control for PHE Midlands, said: “The management at Amethyst Group are cooperating fully with public health professionals to protect the health and wellbeing of their workforce and wider public health. The individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 are all isolating for at least 10 days, with their household members and other close contacts advised to self-isolate for 14 days – as per national guidance.

“Despite measures being put in place by the company to promote a Covid-secure working environment, a small number of cases were confirmed early in November. As a precaution, public health professions worked with the company to arrange testing for the whole workforce, which has resulted in an increased number of asymptomatic cases being discovered over the last week. We are therefore continuing to give management advice and support on further infection control measures, including wider use of PPE, dividing screens in appropriate areas, and strategic division of workforce into bubbles which include household members and those who need to car share.”

Associate Director of Public Health, Warwickshire, Emily van de Venter said: “Effectively managing outbreaks in the workplace remains a key focus in Warwickshire. The Amethyst Group have acted quickly, working with our team and Public Health England to arrange testing for the whole workforce and additional control measures have now been put in place. Targeting workplaces as soon as a case is confirmed is an essential element of our local outbreak plan to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and the team at Amethyst have taken all of the necessary steps to ensure the safety of their workforce and the local community.”

Allan Fosbrook, sales director for Amethyst Group, said: “We take the health and wellbeing of our staff extremely seriously. We have put in place extensive measures within our distribution centres to manage the risk of coronavirus. Since the initial cases have been identified we have worked together with Warwickshire County Council and Public Health England to roll out testing across our whole Wellesbourne workforce, to strengthen the prevention measures in place and to mitigate the impact on our customers, who I'm sure will understand the importance of controlling the spread of this virus. With the steps taken we are able to resume Covid secure operations.”



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