HEALTH chiefs have confirmed an outbreak of coronavirus at a caravan site in Craven Arms in south Shropshire.

Shropshire Council and Public Health England said there have been three positive cases found at the site, which has not been named by officials.

The cases have all been linked to an outbreak in Welshpool and a recent local event. Officials have said testing is continuing with further cases possible.

Initially, two cases were found and officials said there has been good cooperation with residents on-site who have been working with health practitioners to undertake testing.

Some 40 residents have been tested, and all on the caravan site have been asked to self-isolate with members of their household for 14 days.

This means that residents of the site are asked to remain in their homes during the period of isolation and stay within household groups, to reduce risk of spread within the site and the wider community.

A testing site will be available in Craven Arms from Saturday, July 25 for any member of the public who has symptoms. Appointments can be made by calling NHS 119.

Rachel Robinson, director of public health at Shropshire Council said: "Our priority is to protect the health and wellbeing of all residents in our community.

"As soon as we were notified of the first cases, we arranged immediate testing with residents from the site to allow us to understand transmission and help control the spread of infection.

"We continue to support the residents on the site and have advised residents to remain on site during the period of isolation and stay within household groups, to reduce risk of spread within the site and into the wider community.

“Anyone who has a fever, persistent dry cough, or loss or change in their sense of taste or smell should call 119 or go online to arrange a test. Testing services are available across the county but will also be available locally in Craven Arms from this Saturday. Anyone who has symptoms should book online or through NHS 119.

"We will continue to monitor and manage the situation closely.

Councillor Dean Carroll, cabinet member with responsibilities for public health and adult social care added: "Our focus remains the health and wellbeing of residents and the wider community while we work to contain and control the spread of Covid-19.

"At this phase of the pandemic, we still expect to see cases in the community and within settings where people are closer together, which is why test and trace is so important, to help us pick up on any potential problems and to swiftly take remedial action to reduce the spread.

"We would also like to remind everyone to follow social distancing advice to reduce their social interaction with other people.

"Good hand hygiene remains the best protection against the virus, including washing your hands more regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, wearing a face covering when using public transport or going to the shops and supermarkets, and covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

Councillor Lee Chapman, local member for Church Stretton and Craven Arms and Chair of Shropshire’s health and wellbeing board said: "We want to reassure local residents who have any concerns, that the risk to the general public is low.

"We know that coronavirus is still very much with us and we do expect to see clusters of cases during a pandemic of this nature.

"Our Public Health team and partners are working with the local community to help prevent the spread of infection. I do strongly encourage people to follow the government guidelines to help protect yourself and others. We all need to play our part to help stop the spread of coronavirus."