COVID 19 outbreak at Hinkley “under control”

Hinkley C and Somerset County Council put out a joint statement this morning about cases among the Hinkley workforce. This follows questions from The Leveller about a rumoured outbreak at the building site. In response they note:

21 members of staff at Hinkley Point C, out of a daily workforce of over 4,000, are currently self-isolating after testing positive for Coronavirus.  Anyone identified as a close contact of a positive case is contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service and asked to self-isolate.”

A quick response under these circumstances is essential. Clearly 21 out of a workforce of 4,000 is not a significant number. The next question is inevitably, what about the contacts of those who tested positive. This was the response:

A number of close contacts of the cases have been quickly identified and are also self-isolating for the recommended 14 days, even if they aren’t displaying symptoms. Contacts of a confirmed case should only get tested if they start displaying symptoms.

Public Health England and Somerset County Council are supporting EDF Energy by undertaking risk assessments, providing advice and giving support and guidance on infection prevention control and what to do if someone starts to show symptoms or tests positive.  However we have been told that “Anyone not identified as a close contact does not need to self-isolate or book a test unless they start to develop symptoms.”

Trudi Grant, Director of Public Health at Somerset County Council, said: “I’d like to commend the members of staff at Hinkley Point C for self-isolating as soon as they started showing symptoms, getting tested and continuing to self-isolate until their test results were known. Hinkley Point C acted quickly when staff first started displaying symptoms, supported staff to get tested and deep cleaned areas with the aim to prevent further spread. This is very much a reminder that Coronavirus is here, circulating in our workplaces, and communities and it’s up to us all to prevent its spread. It’s important we follow the guidance – hands, face and space – ie observe social distancing, wash hands thoroughly and regularly and wear face coverings when appropriate if you can and self-isolate and book a test if you start to display symptoms.” 

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