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Coronavirus outbreak stops work on Amazon distribution centre

At least 18 construction workers building a new Amazon distribution centre in Nottinghamshire have tested positive for coronavirus.

The project, being built by Bowmer & Kirkland, has been closed for a deep clean and the contractor’s employees on the job are all self-isolating. Project stakeholders claimed no individual with a positive test or symptoms had been present on site since Wednesday. They added that the track-and-trace process had been used to identify any other team members requiring to self-isolate as a precaution. Nottinghamshire County Council is also helping to tackle the outbreak; the local authority is working with health officials and has set up an incident team.

The 1,750,000 square foot distribution centre is located at Summit Park in Sutton-in-Ashfield. It was due to be handed over to Amazon by September 2020, although that deadline was announced prior to the pandemic. The project is a joint venture between development partners Peveril Securities and Sladen Estates. Construction database Glenigan estimates the project is worth around £100m.

A spokesperson speaking on behalf of the site’s three stakeholders said: “We can confirm that a number of the team working on site have been diagnosed as having coronavirus. All those testing positive are now self-isolating following their results.

“The health and safety of all those working on site remains a top priority and, as an added measure, we will be enhancing our already rigorous hygiene practices. We have elected to stand down all operatives on site from Thursday 3 September in order to carry out a full-site deep clean to maintain a safe working environment for all.”

Nottinghamshire County Council’s director of public health Jonathan Gribbin added that it was “a developing situation and we will work with the site operators to manage the situation. The safety of workers at the site and of our residents is our priority.

“We are working closely with the main construction partners Bowmer & Kirkland, who have closed the construction site whilst they undertake a deep clean. We are also in contact with the site owners and environmental health colleagues at Ashfield District Council who have been present at the site to help manage the situation,” he added.

Amazon has been contacted for comment.

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