COVID-19 cases confirmed at North Herts Leisure Centre

COVID-19 cases have been confirmed among North Herts Leisure Centre staff. Picture: NHDC

COVID-19 cases have been confirmed among North Herts Leisure Centre staff. Picture: NHDC - Credit: Archant

Concerns have been raised as it was confirmed that three members of staff at North Herts Leisure Centre in Letchworth have tested positive for COVID-19 since last week.

A member of staff at the centre, which is run by Stevenage Leisure Limited on behalf of North Herts District Council, shared their unease with the Comet after a number of staff had to self-isolate at home.

The anonymous staff member claimed up to five people were off work, not all employees had been told of the outbreak and they were concerned “staff are intermingling because not everyone knows”.

The Comet approached SLL who confirmed the cases, and asked why not all staff had been told, and why the centre had not closed to the public.

In a joint statement, SLL and the council said: “After displaying coronavirus symptoms at home, a non-customer facing staff member of North Herts Leisure Centre quickly informed their employer, Stevenage Leisure Ltd.

“An immediate investigation was carried out and a number of staff were immediately instructed to self-isolate at home for 14 days, as they had potentially come into close contact with this member of staff.

“In total, three members of self-isolating staff have since tested positive for coronavirus. None of these members of staff were in close customer contact in the days prior to their tests.

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“The matter was reported to Public Health England and NHDC’s Environmental health team, and both bodies are satisfied with the actions we have taken. A deep clean of the whole facility was undertaken following the first positive result.

“We are confident that we have followed all correct procedures to ensure the safety of our staff and customers and that in this instance there was no need for the centre to close to the public. “We take the situation very seriously and continue to abide by strict protocols, including enhanced cleaning regimes and social distancing measures, to minimise the risk to all staff and customers.”

The anonymous employee added: “We could have people here who are asymptomatic who are in contact with others.

“The centre is open as normal –we’ve got programmes where staff are encouraging people to come back in and that includes the elderly.

“I am fearful for people coming in, for staff and my family.

“This is spreading quite quickly, it’s a real concern.”

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