30 cases of COVID-19 at Coventry distribution centre sees operations cease for 48 hours

Following the testing of Fyffe Group’s workforce in Coventry, a total of 30 cases of COVID-19 were identified.

A distribution centre in Coventry that we last week reported on as having 10 members of staff test positive for COVID-19 has agreed to temporarily cease normal operations to control the spread of the virus.

Fyffes Group said it will temporarily close its Cross Point Business Park distribution centre in Coventry for 48 hours, as an additional measure to control the outbreak of COVID-19 among its workforce.

Fyffes is said to still be working closely with Public Health officials in Coventry and Public Health England (PHE) to manage the outbreak.

As a precautionary measure, testing was arranged for the whole workforce of around 200 staff at the end of last week.

The confirmed cases among its workforce jumped from 10 to 30 after the testing, and so a decision was made to temporarily cease normal operations for 48 hours.

Those who tested positive have been instructed to self-isolate at home per Government guidance.

The brief closure of the Coventry facility will allow a thorough deep clean of the entire workplace as well as the implementation of “enhanced infection control measures”.

The site will reopen for business on the morning of 19 August.

Liz Gaulton, the director of public health for Coventry, said: “Throughout this process, the management at Fyffes has worked openly and cooperatively with us as we have sought the best way to contain and manage this difficult situation.

“After the increase in positive cases, we have agreed a temporary cessation of normal operations is the best way forward to support the business and the food production industry, while also protecting the health and wellbeing of the workforce and the wider public health.

“Fyffes are implementing a range of additional measures, to enhance the controls they already have in place.

Dr Mamoona Tahir, a consultant in communicable disease control with PHE Midlands, said: “In light of the number of cases that we had, we took the decision to test the entire workforce. This has identified further cases who have now been asked to isolate.

“In this instance, we came to the decision the best way to control the outbreak was to cease production for 48 hours, to allow a thorough clean of the site and the implementation of enhanced infection control measures.”

A spokesperson for Fyffes, commented: “The safety of all our workers is our number one priority, which is why we have and continue to work with public health officials to arrange testing for the entire workforce.

“We are temporarily ceasing normal operations for 48 hours to put in place enhanced infection control measures and repeat thorough cleaning of the entire premises. We are thankful for the continued support we have received for our staff members and our business.”