53 staff members at Manchester Piccadilly in self-isolation following COVID-19 outbreak

Reuters

An coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak at Manchester Piccadilly train station has forced dozens of staff into self-isolation after 11 people are confirmed to have tested positive.

Avanti – which runs the West Coast Mainline route from Manchester to London – has confirmed an outbreak at Piccadilly, which is managed by Network Rail.

It’s understood a staff member took a COVID-19 test last Monday before arriving for his shift on Tuesday, and then received a positive test result later that day. It was at this point he informed his managers, and now some 11 Avanti staff members have subsequently tested positive, with a further 25 self-isolating after having contact with the affected individual.

In total, 42 of the 95 Avanti workforce in Manchester are currently now in self-isolation, although it’s thought that not all are linked to this case.

Avanti West Coast bosses say they acted as soon as they were made aware of the positive test.

The operator retraced the employee’s movements to send “around 10” of their colleagues home, and they said a further 15 workers were contacted via the NHS Track and Trace App and were told to self-isolate.

The area where the affected individual worked was closed immediately and underwent a specialist deep clean overnight.

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Dave Whitehouse – Safety and Security Director at Avanti West Coast – said: “We’re providing support for all of our people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and those self-isolating at home.

“We’ve been in regular contact; providing advice and guidance as well as stringently following government guidelines [and] we are cooperating fully with Public Health England North West and the local authority.

“As soon as we were aware of the positive test, we confirmed the member of staff’s movements and sent a number of their colleagues home immediately. A further 15 were contacted via the NHS Track and Trace App and told to self-isolate.’

He confirmed the deep clean took place and added: “Throughout the pandemic we have ensured our people can carry out their duties in a COVID-safe manner.”

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Scott Green – Manchester Piccadilly station manager for Network Rail – said: “We have offered support to Avanti West Coast during its staffing issues due to COVID-19.”

He added that the affected area is separate from other staff areas in the station.

Mr Green continued: “Manchester Piccadilly is open and operating as normal.

“We have regular and rigorous cleaning regimes in place so passengers can travel with confidence. We’d urge passengers to wear a face covering unless exempt for medical reasons, use the numerous hand sanitising points and follow the one-way systems when travelling through the station.”

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