Covid-19

Outbreak of Covid-19 at large Dundalk company

Covid-19

David Lynch

Reporter:

David Lynch

Outbreak of Covid-19 at large Dundalk company

Coronavirus Covid-19

An outbreak of Covid-19 has been confirmed at a prominent factory facility in Dundalk.

National Pen, based in the Xerox Technology Park in Dundalk, have confirmed to the Democrat that a number of team members have recently tested positive for the virus. The company did not reveal exactly how many had tested positive.

In a statement to the Democrat, a spokesperson for the company said: “These team members and identified close contacts where applicable are now in isolation, and all relevant health and safety protocols are being followed. All team members based in Dundalk who can work remotely are doing so with more than 60% of the workforce now working from home.”

Asked about what the company is doing to contain the potential further spread of the virus, the spokesperson added: “Weekly Covid-19 testing has now been introduced for the remaining essential staff on site. National Pen continues to monitor the situation and liaise with the HSE as appropriate.”

Speaking to the Democrat two weeks ago, a source close to the company described how sales employees at the multinational company had raised concerns about staff being unable to work from home during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, despite level 5 restrictions calling for those that can work from home, to work from home.

At that time, National Pen told the Democrat that the company is classed as an essential business as it said it supplies a range of Personal Protective Equipment and related products including face masks, visors, antibacterial sanitizer sprays, gels and wipes, and a range of antimicrobial products to thousands of businesses, government institutions and charitable organizations across Ireland and throughout Europe.

However, the source stated that the production of PPE and other such products was “only one element of thousands of products they sell”.

It has not been confirmed by National Pen whether those who have tested positive for Covid-19 were based in the sales/office department or the factory floor area.

National Pen explained to the Democrat that the “safety of our team members is our top priority”, adding: “As such an extensive range of safety measures are in place at all sites including temperature checking, the provision of PPE, enhanced cleaning protocols, strict social distancing and a range of other measures.”