CUMBRIA's public health boss has praised BAE's diligence after it moved quickly following confirmation of a positive test for coronavirus in the shipyard.

Shipyard bosses carried out contact tracing for the contractor who was confirmed to have caught the virus on Wednesday.

Public health director Colin Cox said he had worked closely with BAE in managing potential transmissions among shipyard staff, as the company announced plans to test workers on a mass scale.

Mr Cox said: “We have been working closely with BAE Systems on their plans for managing Covid-19 in their workforce.

"In line with those plans, BAE notified us very promptly when they had confirmation of the positive case, which they identified through their universal staff testing programme.

"They followed up all workplace contacts and have put all the appropriate measures in place, our local system followed up any possibility of contacts from this employee’s time staying in Barrow, and again put all appropriate measures in place.

"All of this was done in a matter of hours after the positive result was confirmed.

"This has been the first time these jointly agreed arrangements have been tested and I’m very pleased to say that they have worked extremely effectively to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus within the shipyard and the wider Barrow area.”

BAE bosses said the contractor affected was not from Cumbria and had been told to isolate for 10 days.

The workshop where he was stationed has undergone a deep clean, as have several other parts of the site which workers regularly come into contact with.

In the last week, there have been 59 new cases of Covid-19 in Cumbria, a rise of 12 from the previous week.

In the week ending Tuesday August 4, local contact teams have traced 47 cases and identified 114 contacts.

Mr Cox said: “While this very slight upward trend is not what we want to see, the numbers remain very low.

“We are not seeing the levels that have prompted the tightening of measures we have seen in other parts of the north west, most recently in Greater Manchester." He urged people to continue to wear masks, social distance and wash their hands.