Coronavirus outbreak at Iceland depot sees 51 workers test positive

31 July 2020, 09:31

The distribution centre for Iceland on Penzance Drive, Swindon
The distribution centre for Iceland on Penzance Drive, Swindon. Picture: Google

By Ewan Somerville

A coronavirus outbreak has hit an Iceland distribution centre in Swindon, seeing 51 workers test positive.

Swindon Borough Council has declared an outbreak at the Penzance Drive depot, run by XPO Logistics and supplying the supermarket giant.

The confirmed cases among workers rose again on Thursday, with another 21 becoming infected with Covid-19, up from 30 earlier that day.

Officials set up a mobile testing unit earlier this week at the distribution centre and all employees are being offered tests.

The depot remains open with social distancing and infection control measures, and those traced as close contacts are self-isolating at home, the council said.

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Steve Maddern, Swindon Borough Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “The offer of testing to everybody who works on site is a precautionary measure, but it is important that we act to help stop the spread of the virus within our workplaces and the local community in Swindon.

“We are working closely with Public Health England and would like to thank XPO Logistics for their co-operation in this matter.

“It is important that everyone in Swindon remains vigilant and takes steps to help reduce the spread of the virus at work, at home and when socialising after work.

"This includes washing hands more often than usual for 20 seconds with soap and water, coughing and sneezing into tissues and promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach, cleaning frequently touched surfaces regularly and minimising contact with other people as far as possible.”

An XPO spokesperson said: "Protecting our employees is our number one priority. We’re working closely with the local authorities and adhering to all local and Public Health England guidance to ensure the appropriate health and safety measures are in place."

LBC News has approached Iceland for comment.