10/03/2020

Coronavirus Closes Schools & Belfast Call Centre

The coronavirus outbreak has caused the temporary closure of two schools and a Halifax call centre.

The business in the Belfast Gasworks area closed for deep cleaning today, Tuesday 10 March, after a colleague was diagnosed with Covid-19.

It's understood employees have been told not to attend work at the south Belfast site.

Meanwhile, two schools in Northern Ireland have closed their doors after a young person tested positive for the virus. Health Minister Robin Swann said the individual had been in contact with someone who had recently travelled to northern Italy.

Newtownhamilton High and Primary School have cancelled classes in a precautionary measure to allow for an "enhanced clean of the premises".

The schools are expected to remain closed for the rest of this week.

Health Minister Robin Swann confirmed on Monday that 222 tests have been completed in Northern Ireland, 12 of which have returned positive results.

The latest five cases were announced on Sunday evening, two of which refer to individuals who recently travelled to northern Italy. The three other individuals have been linked to cases where the patient had travelled to the affected region, which is now on complete lockdown.
News Image
"The increase in positive cases is not unexpected and I would advise members of the public not to be unduly alarmed by these developments," Minister Swann said.

"We remain focused on the containment phase at this point, which is aimed at preventing the disease from taking hold in the UK."

Ulster Unionist Councillor David Taylor said the school closures will protect the welfare of staff and pupils.

"I have spoken to the Principals of Newtownhamilton High School and Newtownhamilton Primary School following confirmation that a high school pupil has been diagnosed with coronavirus. The decision to close both schools has been taken as a precautionary measure following discussions with the Public Health Agency, Department of Education & Education Authority.

"I want to assure the local community that all measures have been taken to protect the welfare of staff and pupils. I also appeal to everyone to follow any advice offered in terms of simple steps that should be taken to protect themselves to assist in containing the spread of the virus."

A west Belfast GAA club also revealed that one of its members has tested positive for the coronavirus strain.

Naomh Gall says the adult recently returned from a holiday. A deep clean of their clubhouse is underway.

All training games have been cancelled this week.



(JG/CM)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

12 March 2020
Eastern Airways Saves Belfast-Southampton Route
Flights from Belfast City Airport to Southampton have been saved by Eastern Airways. The airline stepped in to fulfil the busy route after announcing on Monday that it was creating a six-times weekly Belfast to Teeside International Airport flight. The daily Southampton flights are now available for booking and will begin on Monday 23 March.
19 March 2020
Woman Left Frightened After West Belfast Burglary
A woman has been left shaken after she was forced to the ground and threatened by three males who had forced entry to her home. Police have launched an investigation following the aggravated burglary in west Belfast on Wednesday evening, 18 March.
18 March 2020
Leisure Facilities Closed Across Belfast
Leisure centres and community facilities across Belfast have been closed as measures to combat the spread of coronavirus are ramped up. St George's Market, the Ulster Hall and the ICC Belfast are among those affected. City Hall has closed to the public with tours suspended and the visitor exhibition also closed.
16 March 2020
Belfast City Marathon Postponed
Organisers of the Belfast City Marathon have took the decision to postpone the race and following half marathon fixture in light of the coronavirus outbreak. The marathon, originally due to take place on Sunday 03 May, will now be held on Sunday 20 September 2020.
28 January 2005
Belfast to hold international Human Rights conference
A major conference, bringing together over 20 international human rights leaders from 12 countries, will take place in Belfast this weekend.