A Covid-19 outbreak at a workplace is being investigated in Selby – now the local authority area with by far the highest current case rate in England.
The premises being investigated is Clipper Logistics on Barlby road, North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) says it working with Public Health England (PHE) at the site.
The company said in a statement to YorkMix:
“As this global crisis progresses, it’s clear no community is insusceptible to Coronavirus and, like many others, we, too, have been impacted with a number of confirmed cases. That said, there is no evidence to suggest these cases were contracted in the warehouse.
As the health and wellbeing of our staff is our number one priority, we are maintaining our social distancing protocols, conducting daily on-site testing and communicating regularly with staff and the Environmental Health Officer, who has visited the site in the last week and verified our approach.”
Local public health officials have said the outbreak means the local authority’s case rate “will appear higher and show a short term increase before they start to drop again”.
The latest case rate figures show Selby district is a long way in front of other councils, with 101 new cases in the seven days to April 22 – the equivalent of 111.5 cases per 100,000 people.
This is up from 48.6 in the seven days to April 15, the largest increase in the country.
Selby’s figure is more than 60% higher than the next district on the table, which is Kirklees, in West Yorkshire.
NYCC said in a statement: “Due to a significant rise in the Covid-19 infection rate in Selby in recent days, North Yorkshire County Council is currently working with Public Health England to investigate an outbreak of Covid-19 at a local workplace in the Selby district.
“The company is working closely with all of the agencies involved, including the county and district councils, PHE and the Health and Safety Executive, to tackle the outbreak.”
The statement said that on-site testing support has been provided to staff to identify additional cases. No details of the number of people involved have been released.
The council said the focus is currently on Clipper Logistics, but the authorities are also tracking any other cases in the community to reduce potential spread.
Louise Wallace, North Yorkshire’s director of public health, said: “The company is working very closely with us as we take every measure, including workforce testing on site, to contain this outbreak.
“As a consequence we know that local infection rates will appear higher and show a short term increase before they start to drop again.
“However, this outbreak only serves to highlight that Covid-19 is still circulating among the population and shows how easily the rate can spike.”
Ms Wallace said: “Our plea to everyone is to be extremely careful and to keep following the regulations until it is safe to resume a more normal way of living – we have come too far and made too many sacrifices for this effort to be wasted now.”