Published: 20:51, 14 July 2020
| Updated: 20:59, 14 July 2020
An NHS 111 call centre was forced to shut for a deep clean after a member of staff was confirmed to have coronavirus.
The IC24 site in Ashford was left vacant over the weekend following the diagnosis, with staff forced to remain home and test themselves for the virus.
The Willesborough centre is responsible for handling a large number of NHS 111 calls from Kent and the surrounding area.
While the site was closed, any 111 calls from the area were fielded to the group's two other facilities in Ipswich and Norwich.
The centre has now reopened following a deep clean and staff are operating as normal.
A spokesperson for IC24 said: "Keeping our people safe is our number one priority.
"When a team member from our Ashford contact centre reported testing positive for covid-19 we promptly closed the site for an extensive deep clean.
"Keeping our people safe is our number one priority"
"We telephoned colleagues to advise them to be tested, to establish if they had been in close contact with the individual, to not to return to work until a negative test result was received, and even then to speak to their manager before returning, in case they had been in close contact with the affected person or had any other concerns.
"Although this is not classified as an outbreak, we contacted the Public Health England health protection team and took their advice.
"The contact centre is not a patient-facing site, and all employees have infection prevention and control training.
"Our buildings are subject to a rigorous cleaning schedule, and with measures such as social distancing, hand gel and desk wipes in place to support our people to work in as safe an environment as possible."
More by this authorAlex Jee
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