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22/07/20 13:08

Lanarkshire COVID-19 cluster

Contacts of positive cases traced and asked to isolate for 14 days.

Public health teams in Lanarkshire are continuing to investigate a cluster of confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) associated with a Sitel call handling facility in Bellshill.

As of today, 15 positive cases have been identified among staff at the facility and 5 cases amongst close contacts.

All Sitel staff have been advised to isolate for 14 days and take a COVID-19 test. A total of 393 test results from staff have been reported so far.

The investigation has identified a number of secondary locations with links to the call centre. NHS Lanarkshire’s public health team and North Lanarkshire Council are working with all affected premises to ensure appropriate cleaning and safety measures are taken forward, as well as identifying any close contacts in line with Test and Protect guidelines.

The additional locations are:

  • Owen’s Bar in Coatbridge
  • The Railway Tavern in Motherwell
  • Costa at the Bell Quadrant in Carfin
  • END clothing store in Glasgow
  • Merlin’s Bar in Motherwell

With the exception of identified close contacts, people who have attended those locations are not being asked to isolate, but to be vigilant about symptoms and if they have any symptoms to immediately isolate and book a test.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “Where clusters of cases develop we must find them and act quickly to prevent further spread. Public health teams in Lanarkshire have responded swiftly to track the spread of the virus and identify any close contacts of the Sitel employees.

“At this point it is considered that there is a low risk of transmission for people who have attended these locations and have not been in close contact with someone who has tested positive. However, individuals who have been in these locations should be extra vigilant, ensure they follow all public health advice, and if they have any symptoms of COVID-19 should isolate and book a test on the NHS website.”

Chief Medical Officer Gregor Smith said: “We would like to thank the premises concerned for their co-operation and for their commitment to following national guidance to ensure the safety of their staff and customers.

“The Incident Management Team believe the risk to the public of COVID-19 is low given staff in these locations were wearing appropriate PPE. However, this is an ongoing process and they will continue to work with any premises as and when further cases develop.

“As always, please follow national guidance on the NHS Inform website if you have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 or develop symptoms.”

Background

Test and Protect was rolled out across Scotland on 28 May 2020.

People with any of the following symptoms should book a test at nhsinform.scot/test-and-protect or call 0800 028 2816 if they are unable to access the online service:

  • a high temperature or fever
  • a new continuous cough 
  • a loss of, or change in sense of smell or taste