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JD Sports warehouse hosts mobile COVID-19 lab after workers test positive

Tom Shearsmith
08 July 2020

JD Sports’ central warehouse in Rochdale is now host to a mobile testing lab, which has been set up at after a small number of warehouse workers tested positive for COVID-19.

Rochdale was identified as a hotspot for Coronavirus infections at the start of this month as new figures revealed local outbreaks were emerging.

While the rate of infection in the town was less than half that of Leicester, where a local lockdown has been imposed, the local council is keen to identify any potential centres of infection, noting the sportswear warehouse could be a possibility.

It is understood that of nearly 500 people tested at the JD Sports warehouse this weekend through the mobile lab, only one additional case to those already diagnosed had been identified.

In a statement, the company said: "JD notes and welcomes the recently announced fall in the number of positive COVID-19 tests across North Manchester, and particularly in the Rochdale and Oldham areas which are home to many of our Kingsway colleagues, however we are aware that the number of positive tests in these areas is still ahead of the national average."

Andrea Fallon, Rochdale Council’s Director of Public Health, told The Guardian: “We are aware of a small number of positive cases at JD Sports who have been contacted as part of our local contact tracing service, and are now all self-isolating.

"Although the numbers are small and we are still working to understand if there are any possible links, we are taking a cautious approach and working closely with JD to bring in additional resource to offer testing to as many employees as possible.”

Last month, JD Sports opened all its stores across England. The company opened its entire 309-strong estate in England across shopping centres, high streets and retail parks, after the Government gave the go-ahead for non-essential retail to restart.

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