| 14.3°C Belfast

Coronavirus outbreak confirmed at NHS Test and Trace centre

The outbreak took place in North Lanarkshire despite the service only tracking cases in England.

A cluster of coronavirus infections has been confirmed at an NHS Test and Trace call centre in North Lanarkshire.

Measures have been brought in by the region’s health board to try and suppress the outbreak, which flared up at the Sitel site in Motherwell.

NHS Lanarkshire said it had been notified about “potentially linked cases” of Covid-19 infections in the area on Sunday.

We instigated some immediate measures to reduce riskNHS Lanarkshire

An NHS Test and Trace spokeswoman said: “We are aware of a local outbreak of Covid-19 at the Sitel site in Motherwell. This is being managed by Sitel and colleagues in NHS Lanarkshire, who are following appropriate test and protect action in line with Scottish Government advice.

“We take the safety and wellbeing of our staff very seriously. Everyone at the site is currently working from home while a deep clean takes place, and will be offered a test within the next 24 hours.”

NHS Test and Trace is a service operated by the NHS in England to track and help prevent the spread of Covid-19 south of the border.

Dr David Cromie, NHS Lanarkshire consultant in public health medicine, said: “We became aware this morning of a number of potentially linked cases of coronavirus in Lanarkshire.

“We instigated some immediate measures to reduce risk and are currently investigating the situation.”

The news comes as Scotland recorded 23 new confirmed cases of coronavirus – the highest increase in almost a month.

Three of these were in the Lanarkshire health board area.

This figure has now risen in each of the last five days – up from three on Tuesday – although no further deaths of people with the disease have been recorded.

It is the highest record for new cases since June 21, when there were 26 positive test results.

Scotland’s national clinical director Jason Leitch previously said he would not be concerned with fluctuating figures when there was a recorded spike of 21 new cases on Saturday.

He told BBC Scotland: “I expect day-to-day variation and the next thing I look at is the spread around the country.

“So 21 in one small town would worry me much more than 21 spread around the country – and these 21 are spread around the country.”

PA