Health officials confirm Swindon coronavirus outbreak under control

A coronavirus outbreak at a Swindon distribution centre is now under control with new COVID-19 cases continuing to fall.

Published: Wednesday, 5th August 2020

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The news comes after the latest figures from Public Health England show Swindon’s infection rate having fallen to 44.1 per 100,000 of the population.

Swindon Borough Council and Public Health England South West have been working closely with XPO Logistics to contain the spread of infection among employees who work at its Swindon distribution centre in Penzance Drive.

A Mobile Testing Unit (MTU) was set up at XPO’s depot last week as part of a multi-agency response to the localised outbreak. A total of 515 people were tested for COVID-19 as a precautionary measure to control the outbreak with a total of 77 staff testing positive.

New cases have continued to fall over recent days and just one new case was reported yesterday (4 August). Of the handful of people who were recently diagnosed, all were either self-isolating or had returned from holiday.

Twenty-five staff have since returned to work.

However, with small outbreaks likely to become more common over the coming weeks and months, the Council and its partners will continue to implement its Local Outbreak Management Plan when necessary to keep residents safe and to minimise the spread of infection.

Steve Maddern, Swindon Borough Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “The number of new COVID-19 cases has continued to fall in recent days, which is reassuring.

“We have been working closely with XPO Logistics and our colleagues at Public Health England South West to ensure the necessary protocols and public health procedures are in place and we are confident we are now coming to the end of this outbreak and that it has been contained.

“More than 500 staff have been tested and those who have been identified as being close contacts of those affected have been told to self-isolate in accordance with government guidelines. The recent outbreak has contributed to a spike in the COVID-19 case rate in Swindon over and above the infections we have seen in recent weeks. However, we expect to see a continued reduction in the case rate over the coming days.

“We would like to reassure people living and working in Swindon that while we expect to see more sporadic cases of COVID-19 in the weeks and months ahead, we have robust mechanisms in place to contain the infection and protect the health of the local community.

“This includes extensive community engagement plans to ensure local people get the information they need to stay safe and in a way that is accessible and meets their needs.”

Case numbers for Swindon are monitored daily across a range of settings to identify any outbreaks, with work taking place to contain them.

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