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Coronavirus outbreaks in construction, fast food and supermarkets

A construction site in Dublin had to close temporarily after staff tested positive for Covid-19.

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Coronavirus outbreaks are happening in a range of workplaces, Ireland’s acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn warned (Niall Carson/PA).

Coronavirus outbreaks are happening in a range of workplaces, Ireland’s acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn warned (Niall Carson/PA).

Coronavirus outbreaks are happening in a range of workplaces, Ireland’s acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn warned (Niall Carson/PA).

Coronavirus outbreaks are happening in construction, fast food and supermarket workplaces, Ireland’s acting chief medical officer warned.

A building site in Dublin had to close temporarily after staff tested positive for Covid-19.

Over 20 cases were linked to it so far and many other workers have been tested, Dr Ronan Glynn added.

We can’t underestimate how quickly clusters developDr Ronan Glynn

He said: “We are now seeing outbreaks of the virus in a range of work settings, including in construction, in fast food outlets and in supermarkets.

“We can’t underestimate how quickly clusters develop.

“We have come so far together, but we need to stay vigilant to prevent a resurgence across the whole country in the coming weeks.”

Other cases have been associated with a retailer in Kildare, Dr Glynn added.

“This disease does not stop at the door of your house or hospital or healthcare setting.

“It is out there and you need to take all the precautions you should be taking in your workplace.”

Many workplaces have introduced the new regimes and safety measures necessary to reopen their businesses.

“The acting chief medical officer added: “I would remind all employers that the workplace and most particularly, shops, services and supermarkets, are the new front line, we are asking you to do everything you can to put the safety of your staff and customers first.”

His comments were not aimed at specific employers or any particular cluster.

The construction site which closed down is located on Townsend Street in Dublin city centre.

Building company John Paul Construction said: “Following confirmation that a staff member on one of our construction sites in Dublin had tested positive for Covid-19, a comprehensive testing has identified a number of additional positive cases.

“We have followed the specific advice of the HSE and the Health and Safety Authority at all times in relation to this and are assisting the HSE in arranging further tests as required.

“We have temporarily closed the site as advised by the HSE.”

The company said health and safety of its workers and the communities in which it operated was its top priority and wished those affected a speedy recovery.

There have been no further deaths reported in Ireland from Covid-19, while six new cases have been confirmed by the Department of Health.

Dr Glynn said the global race to produce a vaccine had been unprecedented.

“I would be hopeful that we will have therapeutics and a vaccine, hopefully it won’t be years away.”

He said Europeans had partnered as they gear up to produce vaccines.

“When the vaccine or vaccine are developed they will need to be manufactured on an unprecedented scale.

“From our perspective the best way we can ensure supply is to partner at a European level with our European member states and ensure we are approaching it and procuring it as one.”

Three quarters of those surveyed by the Department of Health (75%) think that there will be a second wave, up 30% since June.

Medics have said they are not ready for another four months of pressure like the last period.

Rachel Kenna, chief nursing officer at the department, said: “Our healthcare workers have been at the front line since March and they deserve our best efforts to continue to minimise the spread of this virus.

“The impact of any increase in cases will be hard on healthcare workers, who have already given so much to keep us safe this year.

“Let’s reward their dedicated and unwavering service by holding firm on Covid-19.”

PA