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.
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"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.


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