Nike's Sunderland office shut down over coronavirus alert

Nike’s Sunderland base has been cleared of staff and a deep cleaning company called in following a coronavirus alert at the sportswear giant.

The company’s office in Camberwell Way, on the city’s Doxford International Business Park, is closed today, Wednesday, March 4, with people wearing white suits and facemasks spotted inside the building.

The firm’s London HQ in Soho has also been shut until at least tomorrow, with 150 workers based there told to stay at home after a colleague returned from an overseas visit to one of the areas worst-hit by the virus.

In a statement released to the Evening Standard, Nike said: “While we have no information indicating any exposure to employees, out of caution we are conducting a deep cleaning of our offices.”

Nike's office at Doxford Park has been closed down for deep cleaning amid coronavirus fears.

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Outside the Wearside office, vehicles of the Seaham-based Industrial Deep Cleaning Ltd have been seen outside – the company has been contacted by the Echo, as has the Department of Heath and Social Care, which says it only comments on confirmed cases.

One delivery driver said he arrived at the office to find the area clear of people and vehicles, with security officers turning people away.

The 33-year-old said: “There are no cars in the car park, just four vehicles which say ‘deep clean’ on the side of them.

“The security guard around the back, where we usually deliver, was standing outside and I asked what was going on.

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People in white suits have been seen inside the Nike office Doxford Park, Sunderland. Picture by Frank Reid.

“He said ‘I can’t say, but you can make your own mind up.’

“I think people should be told what’s going on, I’ve got asthma, so it’s a worry for someone like me, and it’s in a cul-de-sac, so once you’ve turned in, you’re there.

“They should have it all sealed off.

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“Usually there are lots of people around.”

Yesterday, details emerged about the Government's battle plan on how it will deal with the issue at its peak.

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The Government advises anyone returning from the Hubei Province, including Wuhan, in the last 14 days should avoid attending work and call NHS 111 for advice and self-isolate.

If someone with suspected COVID-19 has recently been in your workplace, there are no restrictions or special control measures are required while laboratory test results for COVID19 are awaited.

It says there is no need to close the workplace or send other staff home at this stage and that most possible cases turn out to be negative.

Should a member of staff or the public with confirmed COVID-19 has recently been in a workplace, closure of the workplace is not recommended.

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In situations where individuals in the workplace have had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, it says the local Health Protection Team will provide the relevant staff with advice.

The Echo has contacted Nike for comment.