Outbreak of COVID-19 at Coventry distribution centre

The facility is to remain open and all 186-staff are to be tested, after 10 members of staff tested positive for COVID-19 at the Coventry business.

A worker at a Fyffe facility handling bananas with gloves

Pictured: A worker at a Fyffe facility handling bananas with gloves.

A Coventry distribution centre is working with public health officials to contain and manage an outbreak of COVID-19 at the facility.

All staff at Fyffes’ distribution centre on Richardson Way, Cross Point Business Park, are to be tested as a precaution after 10 members of staff tested positive for COVID-19.

Management at the Japanese-owned fruit and fresh produce company is said to be working closely with public health officials at Coventry City Council, Public Health England (PHE) Midlands and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

A spokesperson for the company said that “the safety of all our workers is our number one priority and a number of actions to tackle this outbreak have been agreed and are currently being implemented.”

Liz Gaulton, director of public health at Coventry City Council, commented on the outbreak, saying: “Fyffes have been open and cooperative with us and have followed our advice and guidance in how to deal with this unfortunate situation.

“We have advised that all 186-staff at the centre are tested as a precaution and the measures that have been implemented mean we are happy for the business to continue to open as normal at this time.

“Incidents like this show that the fight against COVID-19 is not over and that we all have a role to play in preventing the spread of the virus.

Dr Mamoona Tahir, a consultant in communicable disease control with PHE Midlands, also commented: “The management at Fyffes Group Ltd are cooperating fully with public health professionals and members of the HSE, to protect the health and wellbeing of their workforce and wider public health.

“Despite putting a range of infection control measures in place to protect staff from potential exposure to COVID-19, there have been a number of cases among workers.

“We are therefore liaising with management, the local authority and the Health & Safety Executive to advise on increased social distancing measures.

“We are also supporting arrangement to test the entire workforce and will work with the company and public health partners to review any further actions, once results are received.”

Update, 17 August 2020:
Following testing of the entire workforce, a total of 30 positive cases of COVID-19 have been identified. Read more: hellocov.co.uk/30-cases-of-covid-19-at-coventry-distribution-centre-sees-operations-cease-for-48-hours/.