Number of Covid-19 cases at Intel construction site rises to 85

Additional testing reveals further infections on biggest building site in the country

Intel recently announced plans to create 1,600 jobs as part of a $7bn (€5.8bn) investment at Leixlip. File photograph: Collins

Intel recently announced plans to create 1,600 jobs as part of a $7bn (€5.8bn) investment at Leixlip. File photograph: Collins

 

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases on the Intel construction site in Leixlip, Co Kildare, has risen to 85.

Further testing has taken place at what is the largest construction site in the country, employing 5,000 people. This has revealed approximately 15 new cases. Initially, 70 were confirmed.

An Intel spokeswoman said the Health and Safety Authority is on site and construction is continuing.

The Health Service Executive is hoping to begin antigen testing early next week.

The spokeswoman said the source of the infection has not been established. Workers are required to wear masks at all times both inside and outside while working and also while being transported to and from the site.

She said the site has been operational since last May and the spike in numbers is an “unusual event” and “totally out of kilter”.

The chip maker recently announced plans to create 1,600 jobs as part of a $7 billion (€5.8 billion) investment.

All workers at the site have been informed of the situation in relation to the Covid outbreak.

“We are working to support our construction team in whatever way we can – to understand what has happened in this situation and how it can be addressed with corrective measures,” said Ms Sexton.

Contact tracing

“For all confirmed cases, contact tracing was conducted and any other workers who may have been exposed have been required to self-quarantine and monitor their health. Additional testing of workers at the construction site is being carried out and any affected areas are subject to deep cleaning and disinfection.”

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar downplayed the outbreak in the context of the size of the site and the number of staff.

“I think there are several thousand construction workers,” he told RTÉ Radio 1’s Drivetime. “So an outbreak of 70 in a small confined space like a meat plant is very different to a huge site like that.”

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