Link between Covid cluster and call centre outbreak
A link has been established between a cluster of Covid-19 cases in Inverclyde and an earlier outbreak at a call centre in Lanarkshire.
NHS Greater Glasgow said 13 people had tested positive in the health board area, a rise of two since Thursday.
It also confirmed that one of those cases was linked to the Sitel call centre outbreak in Motherwell.
Staff at M&D Green Pharmacy in Port Glasgow have tested positive as well as a worker at Amazon’s Gourock site.
Some individuals visited a number of businesses in the Greater Glasgow area, and health officials have warned they may have been infectious at the time.
The businesses included The Botany bar and restaurant in Maryhill Road, Glasgow, and Sweeney’s Cruises in West Dunbartonshire, both on Sunday.
Individuals also visited The Queen of the Loch by Marston’s Inn in Balloch and Lomond Woods Holiday Park on the weekend of 24 July.
All the businesses linked to the outbreak are continuing to operate but staff from the pharmacy who have tested positive are not currently working there.
The health board has said the cases were only experiencing mild symptoms.
Dr Daniel Carter, a consultant in public health medicine who is chairing the incident management team, said: “All those who have tested positive for Covid-19 have been given appropriate advice and are self-isolating.
“We are working with a number of businesses including a local pharmacy to trace any close contacts.”
In a statement on Facebook, Sweeney’s Cruises said they were visited by council health officials and had been “given the green light to carry on with our daily cruises”.
Queen Of The Loch and Marston’s Inn said on Facebook that it had “enhanced cleaning procedures in place”, had undergone a “full deep clean” and was co-operating with the local authority.
None of the cases linked to the pharmacy are currently working there and customers have been told it is safe to keep using its facilities.
On Thursday, Inverclyde Council leader Stephen McCabe said news of the local cluster was “soul-destroying” in an area which had already been one of the worst-hit by coronavirus in Scotland.
“There has been a lot of anxiety, rightly, in the community over the last few months,” he said.
“But there is a degree of reassurance that the effective systems are in place and hopefully we can contain the virus.”
M&D Green managing director Martin Green previously aid “some staff” at its John Wood Street branch had tested positive for Covid-19.
He said: “We have been working with Health Protection Scotland and environmental health officers, who are satisfied with the infection control measures we have in place and have immediately implemented the minor additional actions recommended.”
Mr Green added: “We have been reassured by the local outbreak management team that these measures allow us to continue to provide the full range of pharmaceutical services without any risk to the public.”
In a statement, Amazon said it was supporting the individual in quarantine and were following guidelines from health officials about operations at their buildings.
It added: “We have implemented proactive measures to protect employees, including increased cleaning at all facilities and maintaining social distance.”