Eight police officers from the same police station have tested positive for COVID-19, the Assistant Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland has confirmed.
The serious outbreak has affected officers who are based in Antrim and has led to the closure of two police stations as they undergo deep cleaning.
Dozens of police officers are now self-isolating with colleagues of the eight who have caught of the virus now also been tested.
In a statement, Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd said:
“Following reports of a number of officers from Antrim Station being unwell, these officers have undergone testing for Covid-19.
“At this time, eight of these officers have tested positive for the virus.
“We have undertaken, and we will continue to undertake a range of appropriate measures, in line with public health advice and guidance, to address the issue.
“This includes the closure of both Antrim and Newtownabbey stations in order to conduct a deep clean.
“Colleagues from across the district are also self-isolating and will undergo testing for Covid-19.
“I want to reassure public that we have plans in place to ensure continuance of service delivery to keep our people and our communities safe.
“We are also working to identify any other risks arising from this outbreak and will address those with our health care partners.”
PFNI Chair, Mark Lindsay, said
“It is essential that for the welfare of officers and the public, any signs of this disease must be tackled at the earliest opportunity. A welfare hub is in operation to support our colleagues at this time.
“Everything possible will be done to support the officers who are affected.
“This outbreak in Antrim and Newtownabbey stations once again shows the extent to which officers put themselves at risk protecting society as a whole.
“Strenuous tracking and tracing are being conducted.
“In the meantime, our thoughts are with the officers who have the disease and I would like to wish them a speedy recovery.”
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