Sunderland worker has tested positive for coronavirus, council confirms

Public health officials have moved to reassure residents in Sunderland that the risk of contracting coronavirus is low as it was confirmed that an employee who works in the city has tested positive for the illness.

By Debra Fox
Friday, 6th March 2020, 6:08 pm
Updated Friday, 6th March 2020, 7:09 pm

The Public Health team at Sunderland City Council confirmed that a person who has tested positive for the disease in the region works at a business in Sunderland.

Newcastle City Council confirmed on Friday that a second person who lives in the city has tested positive for the illness after the first case was declared on Wednesday.

Gillian Gibson, Director of Public Health at Sunderland City Council said: "We are aware that a person confirmed as having coronavirus in the region is employed in a Sunderland business. However, there is no requirement for further public health action at this stage.

The Nike office at Doxford Park has remained closed since Wednesday.

"The risk to people in Sunderland is currently low. The best way anyone can protect themselves and others from the virus is to wash their hands thoroughly and regularly with soap and water, or use a hand sanitiser, and to cough or sneeze into a tissue, bin it and then wash their hands. If anyone thinks they have symptoms they should contact the NHS 111 line rather than go to their GP or a hospital.

"The health and wellbeing of our residents is our top priority and we are continuing to take our lead from Public Health England and to work closely with them and with other partners to monitor developments and communicate the latest guidance to help prevent the virus from spreading."

This comes as the Nike office at Doxford Park has remained closed for a third day and cleaning staff in hazmat suits could again be seen at the premises.

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Image of a person in white coveralls Nike office Doxford Park, Sunderland. Picture by FRANK REID

The company’s office in Camberwell Way, on the city’s Doxford International Business Park, shut on Wednesday, March 4 along with the firm’s London HQ in Soho.

Public Health England has said it is making contact with anyone who had close contact with the case confirmed in Newcastle to give them health advice about symptoms and emergency contact details to use if they become unwell in the 14 days after contact with them.

Sunderland City Council has said it has "robust plans in place" to deal with any outbreak of the illness and is working with other authorities in the region.

The Nike office on Doxford Park has been closed since Wednesday