Coronavirus outbreak at construction company working on County Hall

Norfolk County Council at County Hall in Norwich

Norfolk County Council's County Hall headquarters in Martineau Lane. - Credit: Archant

A company working on the multi-million pound refurbishment of Norfolk County Council's headquarters has been hit by a coronavirus outbreak.

Sixteen people working for Mace Interiors at County Hall have tested positive for Covid-19 over the past four weeks.

The company, part of the international Mace Group, has been working on the £14.2m contract to complete the refurbishment of the council's Martineau Lane building.

They have been working on the north tower, lower ground floor and basement areas.

One worker, who wanted to remain anonymous, questioned the effectiveness of Covid safety measures on site.

But the company said they had been independently reviewed and were in line with government guidelines.

Norfolk County Council at County Hall in Norwich

Norfolk County Council's County Hall headquarters in Martineau Lane. - Credit: Archant

A spokesman for Mace said: "The health, safety and wellbeing of the people that work on our sites and the communities we work in is our number one priority.

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"Across all of our sites we have introduced strict hygiene and social distancing measures, above and beyond the guidance from Public Health England, to ensure that people are able to work safely.

"We are aware that unfortunately despite those measures a number of people working on our project in Norwich have tested positive for coronavirus and we’re speaking regularly to our team to ensure that we’re providing them with the appropriate support.

"At the same time we are working closely with our client and Public Health England to ensure that we’re taking the appropriate actions to prevent further infection and to keep our people as safe as possible.

“Over the past few months, the measures in place at County Hall have been reviewed independently by the Health and Safety Executive, trading standards and the Considerate Constructor Scheme, all of whom agreed our site is operating in-line with government guidance."

Coronavirus testing. Picture: PA Images

Mace Interiors has had a coronavirus outbreak among workers. - Credit: PA Images

The county council said the risk to the limited number of council staff working at County Hall is low.

A spokesman for Norfolk County Council said: "We’re aware of the outbreak and have been in discussions with Mace Interiors to offer advice and support to help them manage the situation.

“The construction work at County Hall is being conducted in a self-contained part of the building with a separate entrance and robust Covid-safe measures in place .

"This means the risk to the limited number of other essential staff working at county hall is low.

"The project remains on track as work continues on site.”

The project to modernise 1960s-built County Hall began in 2012 after blocks of masonry fell from the building.

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