Coronavirus outbreak at Iceland distribution centre in Swindon as 51 staff test positive

A CORONAVIRUS outbreak at an Iceland depot has broken out with 51 staff infected.

The warehouse in Swindon, which distributes food to the supermarket across the region, has not been closed following the spread.

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It was announced on Wednesday that 30 employees had tested positive for the killer disease.

But alarmingly, the number has now risen to 51 in just 24 hours as the depot grapples with the outbreak.

The firm has now teamed up with Swindon Borough Council and Public Health England (PHE) South West to support staff.

Employees will now be offered on-site testing for the virus using a Mobile Testing Unit.

Social distancing measures are also being reinforced to curb the spread with staff identified as close contacts of those infected currently self-isolating.

XPO Logistics', who handle food for Iceland at the depot, 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."

The site remains open and operational with infection control measures being rolled out daily.

Officials are now asking locals in Swindon to remain vigilant and follow coronavirus guidelines.

Steve Maddern, Swindon Borough Council's Director of Public Health, added: "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."

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