Kettering worker 'under self-quarantine' after trip to coronavirus-hit northern Italy

One employee told the Northants Telegraph she was sent home from work

Friday, 28th February 2020, 11:31 am
Updated Friday, 28th February 2020, 11:31 am

A woman who works in Kettering is under self-quarantine after returning from an area of Italy where there is an outbreak of coronavirus, a colleague has said.

An employee at travel firm RCI in Kettering Parkway, who did not want to be named, told the Northants Telegraph the woman came back from a ski trip at the weekend and was at work on Monday and Tuesday before being sent home.

It's not known where in Italy - where there has been more than 400 confirmed cases - she travelled to but an employee said it was believed to be one of the small towns currently in lockdown.

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RCI's Kettering base.

They said: "There's definitely a sense of unease in the building."

The employee said she was told to self-quarantine for 14 days after her temperature was taken in the office.

They added: "It was awkward. At this point it's definitely on everybody's mind."

It's not known if the woman has been tested for coronavirus, also called COVID-19.

A spokesman for RCI Kettering, where about 150 employees are based, said no member of staff has showed symptoms of the virus.

The spokesman said: “The health of our employees is our top priority and we continue to follow guidance issued by public health authorities including the World Health Organisation. All employees in our office have been advised of precautions recommended by public health officials.

"Employees who travel to any high risk areas are required to follow guidelines issued by public health authorities and are urged to self-quarantine for the duration of the potential incubation period.

"At this time, no employee has shown symptoms of or tested positive for COVID-19. Our measures are proactive to protect our employees and prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

When asked to confirm or deny that an employee has self-quarantined and had been at work before doing so the spokesman declined to comment further. RCI has not yet responded to a further request to answer the question.

There is no current advice to self-isolate unless any symptoms develop. Those who have travelled north of Pisa are asked to stay at home for 14 days if they develop flu-like symptoms.

Several people have died from the virus in Italy. It has affected tens of thousands across the world after an outbreak in Wuhan in China.

Public Health England's advice says: "If you have returned from northern Italy since February 19 and develop symptoms, however mild, you should stay indoors at home and avoid contact with other people immediately and call NHS 111. You do not need to follow this advice if you have no symptoms."