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Manchester lawyers on alert after positive Covid-19 test

By John Hyde  >>

Visitors to Manchester Civil Justice Centre in the past two weeks have been put on alert after a member of staff contracted Covid-19.

Lorraine Edgar, manager for HM Courts and Tribunals Services in the north west, circulated a notice to court users today, saying a colleague who was last in the building on 23 September had tested positive.

Anyone who has attended the civil justice centre in the past 14 days is being asked to monitor their health to see if they become symptomatic with a cough, fever and/or loss of sense of taste or smell. Facilities and security workers have also been notified.

Edgar stressed that in line with government advice, court users do not needed to take a Covid-19 test unless they develop symptoms.

She added: ‘We understand the level of concern this may cause for court users and we are taking this situation very seriously. We are responding in a way that is responsible, proportionate and consistent with NHS and public health advice. The measures we have put in place in all out buildings, as part of our Covid-19 risk management arrangements, are extensive and satisfy public health guidelines.’

Court buildings are not considered ‘close contact’ settings, defined as places where someone spends more than 15 minutes within two metres of another person.

Manchester Civil Justice Centre is one of the busiest courts in England and Wales and consists of 17 floors holding 47 courtrooms. It was among the first to reopen following the lockdown when trials restarted in mid-June, although courtrooms were still considered a ‘shared, scarce resource’ due to the limits of social distancing.

(Courtesy: The Law Society Gazette)