Wednesday, 23 Sep 2020

Covid-19 outbreak forces shutdown of Greggs distribution centre

Covid-19 outbreak forces shutdown of Greggs distribution centre as workers test positive for the virus

  • 20 staff members at distribution depot in Bramley, Leeds, caught the killer bug
  • Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves said the centre has closed and will be inspected
  • She said she is awaiting confirmation workers self-isolating will receive full pay
  • Greggs CEO said company is working to minimise any impact on its customers

A Greggs depot has been forced to shutdown after a coronavirus outbreak was confirmed.

Around 20 staff at the distribution centre in Bramley, near Leeds, had caught the deadly virus.

Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves said the facility has now closed and will be inspected by Infection Control and Environmental Health following a deep clean.

It comes as Leeds’ infection rate rose from 17.9 to 20.4 per 100,000 people this week, official figures show.

The city could face a local lockdown similar to ones seen in parts of Lancashire, greater Manchester and West Yorkshire.

Around 20 staff members at the distribution centre (pictured) in Bramley, near Leeds, had caught the killer virus

Ms Reeves said: ‘I have just come off an urgent call with the leader of Leeds City Council, Councillor Judith Blake, the Armley and Bramley Ward Councillors, Public Health and representatives from the Council as there has been an outbreak of Covid-19 related to the Greggs Distribution Centre in Bramley.

‘The premises have now closed and will be deep-cleaned up to a Covid-19 safe standard and will then be inspected by Infection Control and Environmental Health.

‘All the employees and visiting drivers are now undergoing testing.’

Ms Reeves said she is awaiting confirmation from Greggs and the council that workers who are self-isolating will receive full pay.

She added: ‘During the meeting with Leeds City Council, I pushed for testing to be introduced at a local level in Bramley, so that testing is accessible and within close proximity for residents that may be affected.

‘I am awaiting clarification from Leeds City Council and Greggs that workers who are now self-isolating will receive full pay from Greggs.

‘I, alongside local councillors from Armley and Bramley Wards, are receiving regular updates from Leeds City Council and are working closely to monitor this situation.

‘I would like to thank Leeds City Council for their swift response.’

Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves (pictured) said the facility has now closed and will be inspected by Infection Control and Environmental Health following a deep clean

Ms Reeves added: ‘If you have any symptoms of Covid-19, including a cough, high temperature or loss of taste or smell, you must get a test and self-isolate for ten days.

‘I urge people to continue to practice social distancing, wear face coverings unless exempt and use hand sanitiser or wash your hands frequently in order to stay safe.’

Leeds City Council’s deputy director of Public Health Lucy Jackson said: ‘A number of staff recently tested positive for Covid-19 at Greggs’ distribution depot in Leeds.

‘Following further testing, more staff have been identified as being positive. This highlights why further testing and contact tracing is so important which Greggs is proactively undertaking.

‘The safety of Greggs staff, customers and the wider community remains our priority and we are working closely with Greggs and Public Health England to make sure any infection is contained.

‘The workplace is being deep cleaned and further contact tracing carried out, with necessary advice shared about self-isolating and awareness of symptoms.

‘This is a crucial part of controlling the spread of the virus and protecting our community from further infection.

‘We are satisfied the necessary steps are being taken quickly to minimise any further spread of infection.’

‘As the virus is still within our community, we should all continue to keep at least two metres away from people outside our households wherever possible, wash our hands with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching our face and follow the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ guidance to help keep ourselves and others safe.

‘Anyone with Covid-19 symptoms should stay at home and book a test as soon as possible, within five days of the symptoms starting.’

Greggs CEO Roger Whiteside said the company is working with authorities to minimise any possible impact on its customers and the wider community in Leeds.

He said: ‘Following a number of our staff testing positive for Covid-19 at our Leeds distribution depot, we have taken immediate action to implement our Covid response plan.

‘We are working closely with Leeds City Council and Public Health England to ensure that we minimise any possible impact on our customers and the wider community in Leeds and the surrounding area.’

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