Coronavirus: Children's home has 16 Covid-19 positive tests

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One Angel Square, Northamptonshire County Council HQ
Image caption,
The home is run by Northamptonshire County Council

A children's home has had at least 16 people test positive for Covid-19.

Thirteen staff and three children at Arnold House in Northampton, a small residential home specialising in care for young people with autism, have tested positive since mid-May.

Northamptonshire County Council said it "ensured that there is adequate staffing in place".

Unison union said it referred the case to the Health and Safety Executive due to the "seriousness of the situation".

Fiona Baker, the council's cabinet member for children's services, said remaining staff were "supplied with personal protective equipment".

Welfare 'top priority'

Arnold House, which currently has five young people living in the home, is one of a handful of children's homes run by the Northamptonshire County Council, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

It is understood that a group of staff arranged their own testing and, after a large number came back positive, then tests were carried out within the home.

Ms Baker said: "The welfare of children is our top priority and we have been working closely with Public Health England and the local Public Health team to ensure the situation is managed appropriately.

"All families have been informed of the situation and we are continuing to work closely with the unions to ensure that a safe service continues to be maintained for the children in Arnold House's care."

Branch secretary of Northamptonshire Unison Kev Standishday said its regional office had "submitted a Health and Safety Executive referral on Saturday due to the seriousness of the situation".

He added: "We have had urgent meetings with [the county council] to ensure everything is being put in place to manage the situation and ensure safety going forward."

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