Contractor tests negative for Covid-19 at RAF Lossiemouth

Two workers were suspected of contracting coronavirus - one has tested negative and the other test is inconclusive.

Contractor tests negative for Covid-19 at RAF Lossiemouth Getty Images

A contract worker has tested negative for coronavirus at RAF Lossiemouth in Moray, while another is awaiting a retest following an inconclusive result.

The workers are non-airforce staff who are employed by the engineering and construction contractor Volker Fitzpatrick.

They had been told to isolate after showing positive antibody test results for the virus. 

Volker Fitzpatrick said in a statement: “As the two individuals were not symptomatic, they were initially ineligible for the antigen testing provided by NHS Scotland.

“We are pleased to report that one of the tests has returned a negative result, with another inconclusive at this time. The individual with the inconclusive test is being re-tested with the result known tomorrow.

“Our daily routine on-site at RAF Lossiemouth begins with 20% of our workforce receiving an antibody test. This equates to 100% of the work force every week. These tests are completely voluntary for our workforce, and we are pleased to report 100% of our workforce have opted-in.”

RAF Lossiemouth Group Captain Chris Layden said he had been informed about two suspected cases of Covid-19 among the Volker Fitzpatrick workforce, who are delivering the essential runway works here at RAF Lossiemouth.

He said: “They were displaying no symptoms but were identified through testing which Volker Fitzpatrick has been voluntarily conducting with the consent of their workforce.

“RAF Lossiemouth is continuing to deliver its vital work in the interests of national security, but we are stringently observing the necessary protocols, to protect both the military community and our wider Moray family.

“I am also assured that our partners Volker Fitzpatrick are doing the same.”

Moray MSP Richard Lochhead said he had discussed the situation with the director of public health for NHS Grampian, who informed him that the tests carried out by the company are for antibodies.

If antibodies appear to be present, the test indicates whether the individual is in the early, mid, or late states of the virus.

Mr Lochhead said: “I understand why this news is causing some anxiety locally. Above all, we need transparency and a precautionary approach from the MoD (Ministry of Defence) and contractors who must now reach out to the community.

“The MoD and the main contractors working at RAF Lossiemouth have been warned repeatedly by community representatives about the risk of bringing Covid into the community.

Mr Lochhead welcomed steps taken so far to reduce the risk of coronavirus infection but said there was a view that more needs to be done.

He said: “The fact that workers travelling to Moray may have had Covid is a wake-up call for the MoD.

“The MoD chose to introduce more risk to Moray by not taking on board the concerns of the community so it is also duty-bound to increase protection for the local community, service families and contractor employees.

“Until we have a vaccine, the MoD should review and oversee the situation.”

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