Coronavirus outbreak hits DPD parcel delivery depot

An coronavirus outbreak has been linked to a parcel delivery hub where 19 workers have tested positive.

Infected staff at the regional distribution centre in Oldbury, Sandwell, West Midlands, are now self-isolating to curb the spread of the disease.

Sandwell Council and Public Health England are now working with parcel delivery service DPD to keep the site safe and further testing of workers has been planned.

The borough has had one of the highest Covid-19 infection rates in the UK over the past month, although earlier this week it dropped from 21.3 per 100,000 people to 20.1.

Sandwell Council said the risk to the general public from the DPD site, which also has a local delivery depot, was ‘extremely low’, but it warned the coronavirus threat ‘remains very serious’ in the area .

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Director of public health Dr Lisa McNallysaid the borough was ‘taking all the necessary steps to make sure employees who need to isolate are doing so.’ The council said 12 of the 19 staff have tested positive since July 31.

Deputy council leader Councillor Maria Crompton thanked DPD for their cooperation. She added: ‘We got in there early and that’s really important. The company has been very helpful and hopefully we can catch this before it spreads.

‘That’s the main thing for us – making sure we’ve got the measures in place to test everybody and ensure we can contain it.’

CEO of DPD Dwain McDonald said: ‘We would like to thank Sandwell Council and Dr Lisa McNally and her team for their speedy and effective response in helping us to manage this situation.

‘As you would expect for a major employer in the area, the safety and well-being of our people is our top priority.

‘We will continue to work closely with the Public Health team moving forward.’

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