THE first case of Coronavirus has been confirmed in Worcester.

The Worcester job centre has closed after a staff member in Vine House was tested positive for the virus.

It is believed they did not have any contact with claimants but they have been in to work and mixed with other members of staff.

Three pupils at Worcester Sixth Form have also been self isolating due to the virus.

One of the pupils' mothers is believed to work at the job centre, which is due to open today after a deep clean.

A Department of Work and Pension spokesman said: “We are having a job-centre deep cleaned and it will reopen in due course.

“We are contacting customers whose appointments are affected and these will be rearranged. All payments will be made as usual.”

The job centre was closed all day on Wednesday after the DWP became aware of the case late Tuesday evening.

Malvern Gazette:

However, in a twist, Worcestershire County Council said there were no cases in the county.

Dr Kathryn Cobain, Director for Public Health for Worcestershire, said: “There are no confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Worcestershire. Updated figures are released daily from the Chief Medical Officer and no cases have been confirmed in the county.”

The Worcester News understands that the member of staff who works at the Jobcentre does not live in the county, which may explain the conflicting messages from the DWP and county council.

Meanwhile, three pupils at Worcester Sixth Form College have also self-isolated.

Headteacher, Edward Senior said: "We have three incidents of people self isolating at the school, due to displaying symptoms of coronavirus. They are doing the right thing and following the advice given to them by the GP.

Malvern Gazette:

"At this moment in time we are not aware of any confirmed cases of coronavirus linked to the school.

"We are making sure we work with Public Health to deliver the latest information to both pupils and parents. It is important to us to try and keep our students calm."

Claimants attended the job centre on Wednesday for appointments but were greeted with a sign on the door that read: "Due to unforeseen circumstances Worcester Job Centre is closed today.

Lee Insall, 46, and his care worker Jennifer Ledington travelled from Droitwich to attend an appointment today.

He said: "I feel really angry about it, they gave us no forewarnings about this. I have wasted my time coming all this way. How hard is it to send us a text telling us our appointments were postponed? If we behaved like this we would be sanctioned."

Malvern Gazette:

If you think you might have coronavirus or you've been in close contact with someone who has it:

  • stay at home and avoid close contact with other people
  • do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital
  • use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do next

The 111 coronavirus service will tell you if you need to continue to stay at home (self-isolate) or if you need medical help.

The best way to prevent it spreading is to:

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell

READ MORE: Coronavirus concern at Claines Church of England Primary School

READ MORE: DWP says Worcester job centre worker has Covid-19

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