Two XPO Logistics workers have been treated in hospital for coronavirus, the council’s public health chief has said.

In total, 51 staff at the Iceland distribution centre in Penzance Drive have tested positive for the virus, Swindon council has told the Adver.

Public health officials have declared a “mini-outbreak” at the site and sent a mobile testing unit to the depot.

Two XPO workers had been admitted to hospital due to “minor complications”, Swindon Borough Council’s director of public health Steve Maddern said this afternoon. Both patients were in a stable condition.

The majority of XPO staff who have tested positive for Covid-19 are believed to have contracted the virus in a “social context”, for example from colleagues with whom they lived or shared lifts to work.

Speaking on BBC Wiltshire, Mr Maddern acknowledged that the latest news from the Iceland depot would cause concern but played down fears that Swindon could go the way of Leicester, which introduced a city-wide lockdown at the end of June after Covid-19 cases soared.

He said: “In regard to local lockdown I think that does cause a lot of anxiety within the population and we do have to put the numbers into context.

“It does sound like a lot of numbers for a single business, but it is a large business, so it is still a small proportion of the overall workforce that has been affected.

“We are nowhere near a Leicester situation at this moment in time. So to give a figure that puts that into context our case rate in Swindon is around 14 per cent per 100,000. For every 1,000 people that live in Swindon about 14 people have Covid.

“When we look at a Leicester situation their case rate was 190 per 100,000 during the peak of their lockdown. It just goes to show although our rates are looking marginally higher compared to the rest of the south west we are still seeing relatively low numbers compared to the rest of England and we are a long way off from a Leicester situation.

“Lockdown is very much the last thing that we would want to do and that’s why it is important we have our local outbreak management plans in place so that we can daily monitor the situation, spot outbreaks as they happen then work quickly with those areas to make sure we contain them.”