On Wednesday 22 July First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed in her Coronavirus (COVID-19) update speech that Environmental Health Officers had visited a number of secondary locations with links to COVID-19 outbreak in Lanarkshire, based around the Sitel call centre.
EHOs visited Owen’s Bar in Coatbridge; The Railway Tavern and Merlin’s Bar in Motherwell; Costa Coffee in Carfin; and END clothing in Glasgow and all were satisfied that precautions such as protective equipment and cleaning were in place, and that the risk of transmission is therefore low.
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.
The locations were identified through contact tracing as a number of Sitel staff who have tested positive also had links to these locations, prior to becoming aware of the outbreak.
As of 22 July there has been 20 positive cases associated with the outbreak including 15 who work at the Sitel site and a further five additional positive cases have been identified through the tracing of family members and close contacts.
Since Sunday 19 July an intensive contact tracing operation has been underway. 63 contacts identified as needing to be traced and, so far, 56 have been reached
All staff at Sitel have been told to isolate at home for 14 days, and in addition all staff have been asked to come forward for testing. As of this 22 July, around 393 test results, out of around 400 tested overall, have been returned.
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.”