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Dublin construction site closes after over 20 workers test positive for coronavirus

The construction company said further tests are being arranged.

Image: Niall Carson

Updated Jul 20th 2020, 6:20 PM

A CONSTRUCTION SITE in Dublin’s city centre has been temporarily closed after a number of workers tested positive for the coronavirus.

At this evening’s Covid-19 briefing, acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn confirmed that more than 20 people working at the site had been diagnosed with Covid-19. 

The Irish Times reports the site involved is understood to be a hotel and apartment complex at Townsend Street.

The construction company, John Paul Construction, said one staff member initially tested positive and follow-up testing of others working on the side identified further positive cases.

“Following confirmation that a staff member on one of our construction sites in Dublin had tested positive for Covid-19, comprehensive testing has identified a number of additional positive cases,” it said in a statement today.

“We have followed the specific advice of the HSE and the Health and Safety Authority at all times in relation to this matter and are assisting the HSE in arranging further tests as required. We have temporarily closed the site as advised by the HSE.

“The health, safety and wellbeing of those who work with us and the communities in which we operate is our top priority and we wish those affected a speedy recovery.”

Ronan Glynn said he was not aware of any hospitalisations connected with the outbreak. He described it as the “first significant cluster on a construction site we’ve had to date”. 

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He also confirmed there have been a small number of clusters among staff in retail shops to date.

He said there have been clusters among groups of staff in different occupational settings, and he is concerned that people go to work and as they feel they know their co-workers and see them every day, they might drop their guard.

He confirmed that there had been a “couple” of cases of clusters in fast food outlets around the country, each involving a small number of cases.

- Additional reporting Aoife Barry

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