// JD Sports tests warehouse workers for coronavirus after a small number test positive
// The outbreak started in its warehouse in Rochdale
// The initial cases were identified via a local track-and-trace system
JD Sports has tested at least 500 warehouse workers after a small number of them tested positive for Covid-19.
The sportswear retailer has set up a mobile testing lab at its warehouse in Rochdale after the initial cases were identified via a local track-and-trace system.
The workers are now self-isolating at home, and around a further 500 workers have been tested since, of which one has been confirmed as positive.
- JD Sports boss Peter Cowgill warns of more administrations post-Covid
- JD Sports seeks “rental realism” as Covid-19 impacts footfall
Rochdale, where JD Sports’ warehouse on Kingsway Business Park is located, has been identified as a hotspot for Covid-19, as the number of cases is above the national average.
JD Sports said it “welcomes the recently announced fall in the number of positive Covid-19 tests across north Manchester, and particularly in the Rochdale and Oldham areas” which are home to many of its Kingsway colleagues.
However, it added that it is aware that the number of positive tests in these areas is still ahead of the national average.
JD Sports will be working with the NHS and local council to provide a mobile NHS testing facility on site, with voluntary tests available for any colleagues.
Throughout the crisis, the local council made 11 visits to the Kingsway site to assess the safety measures in place.
Most of these are understood to have been unannounced.
The council found safety measures to be comprehensive and in line with government guidelines.
“We are aware of a small number of positive cases at JD Sports who have been contacted as part of our local contact-tracing service, and are now all self-isolating,” Rochdale Borough Council public health director Andrea Fallon said.
“Although the numbers are small and we are still working to understand if there are any possible links, we are taking a cautious approach and working closely with JD to bring in additional resource to offer testing to as many employees as possible,” she said.
On Wednesday, JD Sports executive chair Peter Cowgill warned that the rate of retail pre-pack administrations and CVAs will increase post-pandemic.
Cowgill said it was likely that CVAs would become more commonplace as retailers struggle with a continued decline in footfall after non-essential businesses reopened last month.
JD Sports recently launched a pre-pack administration for its subsidiary Go Outdoors in an effort to secure more competitive rental prices.