You may have seen Swindon riding high in some league tables this week.

Unfortunately, this particular league table was not one we were pleased to be doing so well in.

I am of course talking about the latest COVID-19 figures, which saw Swindon ranked in the top 10 nationally for the number of cases per 100,000 of the local population.

This may have caused alarm to some people and fears that we may follow those towns and cities who have experienced some form of local lockdown to minimise the spread of the virus.

I would like to reassure readers that this is not the case here in Swindon.

There is no doubt we have seen a significant spike in cases locally and this has pushed up our infection rate considerably, but this is not due to an increase in community-based outbreaks seen in other places in the UK.

Our increase can be traced back to an outbreak at the XPO Logistics distribution centre, which you may have seen reported in the local, and national, media.

The good news is that this outbreak is now under control following intensive work by our Public Health team, our colleagues at Public Health South West and XPO itself to contain the spread of infection.

We were quick to bring a mobile testing unit to the distribution centre last week so we could test more than 500 staff and, while we saw an initial surge in cases, staff who were diagnosed with the illness and their close contacts have been told to self-isolate.

New cases have fallen over the last few days and we are confident we are coming to the end of this outbreak.We are expecting new figures from Public Health England to show a reduction in our case rate over the coming days. But just because our case rates are likely to come down, does not mean we can be complacent.

The reality is that we are likely to see a great deal more of these small outbreaks at businesses and school settings over the coming weeks and months and it is vitally important we all play our part in minimising the spread of the disease.

We are monitoring case numbers in Swindon daily across a range of settings to identify any outbreaks as soon as they occur. But we must ensure we follow the government guidance at all times.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus, a continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, please stay at home and do not go to work and book a coronavirus test at

On this occasion we want to be at the bottom of the league tables rather than at the top. Let’s try and keep it that way.