Following a confirmed case of COVID-19 at SWISCo’s Waste and Recycling Centre, a significant number of staff have been asked to self-isolate which is impacting on the delivery of services.

Cllr Steve Darling, Leader of Torbay Council, said: “Unfortunately, due to a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the SWISCo workplace setting, we have had to ask a group of staff to self-isolate. This will impact on waste and recycling collections across the Bay. Over the coming week, we will be prioritising the collection of household and food waste.

“With this in mind, please continue to put your household refuse (wheeled bins, seagull sacs and black bag waste) and food waste recycling out on the normal day of collection. We will not be able to collect your dry recycling waste this week. All recycling waste can be put out for normal collection next week, when we are aiming to resume our normal waste and recycling collections.

“Please bear with us while we work hard to minimise disruption. The situation is still evolving, and we will be providing you with updated information regularly, sharing it on social media, on our website and via the local press.”

Cllr Mike Morey, Cabinet for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture, said: “We would like to reassure our residents that we have robust arrangements in place to protect the public. We have been operating a bubble system to help limit the amount of colleagues that staff come into contact with, promoted good hygiene, social distancing and face covering practices throughout the organisation. All collection crews use inner and outer gloves when collecting waste and touching waste containers. In this situation, a member of staff had social contact outside of these COVID-19 work practices.

“We understand the importance of waste and recycling collections to our residents and we are working hard to reduce delays wherever possible. Our call centre is extremely busy at the moment so we are asking that you don’t report a missed collection at this time. We will be providing further updates as soon as we have more information.”

Dr Caroline Dimond, Director of Public, said: “COVID-19 infections in Torbay have been rising and this is another reminder that no person or setting is immune from getting this virus. All age groups are affected and we all need to play our part and carefully follow the government’s guidance on how to minimise the risk of spreading it further.

“This means social distancing and wearing face coverings where required, limiting social contact and abiding by the rule of 6, and of course continuing to wash your hands regularly. We all need to THINK COVID. If you think that you may have come into contact with someone with COVID-19, you should self-isolate for 14 days. If you are feeling unwell, you should self-isolate and call 119 or book a test online.”

Book a COVID test if you need one here

More information about COVID-19 in Torbay here

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