Coronavirus outbreak among staff at Asda supermarket in Cape Hill

Published 31st August 2020

Coronavirus outbreak among staff at Asda supermarket in Cape Hill

Sandwell Council and Public Health England West Midlands have been notified of a coronavirus outbreak linked to an Asda supermarket in Cape Hill, Smethwick, after eight workers tested positive.

Dr Lisa McNally, Sandwell’s Director of Public Health said: “We are grateful to Asda for their prompt response to this incident.

“The current high infection rates in Smethwick mean that all businesses need to be especially careful to maintain social distancing on their premises and ensure face coverings are worn.

“Local people in Smethwick are reminded that this virus can be fatal.

"We are strongly advising everyone to avoid crowds and social gatherings as much as possible right now.

“This is a serious situation and we all need to be very careful.”

In a statement today, Asda said: “A small number of colleagues at the Cape Hill store have tested positive and immediately self-isolated.

“As soon as we became aware, we notified Public Health England and Sandwell Council and enacted a comprehensive deep clean at the store, while introducing additional cleaning.

“The safety of our customers and colleagues is our top priority and we have introduced extensive measures across all our stores to help keep everyone safe, including protective screens at every checkout, social distancing signage and hand sanitiser.”

No delivery drivers have been infected and the shop remains open.

"The safety of our customers and colleagues is our top priority," said an Asda spokesman.

"We have introduced extensive measures across all our stores to help keep everyone safe, including protective screens at every checkout, social distancing signage and regular deep cleaning."

Sandwell Council’s Deputy Leader Councillor Maria Crompton said:  “It’s vital businesses keep their employees safe. This is another reminder that everyone – wherever they live, work or visit – needs to stay vigilant.

“The virus is still out there and the situation remains very serious.”

Asda have worked with public health staff to put all appropriate actions in place.  The risk to the public is thought to be low.

This comes at a time when coronavirus infection rates in Smethwick are very high.

The local population are advised to be particularly careful to follow COVID-19 guidance.

Nobody should have visitors from outside their household to their home, except for essential visitors like carers.

Social gatherings should be avoided and if social distancing should be maintained at all times.

Face coverings must be worn in shops and on public transport.