A FURTHER 13 employees at the Penzance Drive distribution centre tested positive for coronavirus as the council works to contain the mini-outbreak.

A total of 64 XPO Logistics workers have now been confirmed to have the disease, two were sent to hospital and 14 are due to return to work. A mobile testing unit at the site has tested 457 people - most of the on-site workforce - as of Friday.

Staff have been widely tested to identify all cases and isolate them in order to contain the spread of the virus. It is expected that cases will increase through testing and should then drop as the people spreading it are isolated. 

The borough council said this approach prevents the spread of the outbreak to the wider public and that Swindon is currently at low risk from community-based spread of the disease seen in other areas of the country that has led to local restrictions, though this willl be monitored.

Director of public health Steve Maddern said: “In line with established public health procedures and protocols, all the necessary steps are continuing to be taken to support XPO Logistics and its workforce to ensure this outbreak of coronavirus is properly managed and contained.

"The company is working closely with all the agencies involved to implement the public health advice provided.  

“Inevitably the number of cases has gradually increased this week, which can be expected as a result of the extensive onsite staff testing made available onsite this week.

"We are now seeing the number of new cases starting to reduce as the outbreak is contained. We are assessing the risks on a daily basis based on the latest evidence, taking proportionate action in consultation with all parties involved.

“The site remains operational, with social distancing and infection control measures being reinforced on a daily basis. People identified as close contacts of the cases have been told to isolate.

“It is also important to recognise that this outbreak accounts for the large majority of current total confirmed cases in Swindon.

“Through the swift action being taken and united effort from everyone involved, the risk of this local outbreak to the wider community remains low.”