Coronavirus update from Hinkley Point C – 4 February
I want to continue to give you the latest information about Hinkley Point C and our measures to keep the community and workforce safe from COVID-19. Although I am encouraged by signs of improvement in national figures, I want to reassure you that our focus on controlling infection and preventing it reaching site is unchanged and we will continue to adapt to meet any new challenges.
As you know we doubled our testing regime to coincide with the return to work after Christmas, so that we are now carrying out 1,000 tests a week. This is allowing us to identify asymptomatic cases and cut out transmission from those who may not be showing symptoms. A positive test leads to the individual isolating in line with Government guidance before they can return to work. It also triggers track and trace which benefits the site and the community. Infection rates on site remain low compared with rates across England. For example, the first 3,000 on-site tests have identified and screened out 31 asymptomatic cases.
Enabling social distancing and enforcing good behaviour remains a priority for the project. Today we are opening new temporary canteen spaces to ensure that workers have enough space. We also continue to spread workers across shifts to allow more workers on site without causing crowding. This means that more workers will be working on a night shift.
Testing is only one of the many tools we have to keep everyone safe. You will be familiar with many of these from my updates in recent months but they are constantly being reviewed and strengthened where needed. We are continuing to increase the team of Covid-19 champions who reinforce behaviours across the site. In recent weeks, we have also tightened our office based working practices with face masks mandatory in all communal areas and in meeting rooms.
As ever, the team and I are here to answer any questions you may have and always interested to hear your views on how we can continue to improve.
Construction Delivery Director, Hinkley Point C