Thursday 2 July, 2020

Sutherland closes South Camp Road call centre amid COVID-19 concern

Business process outsourcing (BPO) company, Sutherland Global closed its site on South Camp Road in Kingston on Wednesday over concerns that an employee may have contracted the novel coronavirus.

Sutherland, in an email to staff advising them of the development, said the closure of its South Camp Road facility will be temporary.

Significantly, the employee, who has been tested, was reportedly a close contact of a worker at the now shuttered Alorica call centre in Portmore, St Catherine where 52 employees have tested positive for the dreaded COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

The email, which was sent by Doug Almond, Sutherland Global’s country head for Jamaica, said the employee has been tested by health officials and the results are expected in 48 to 72 hours.

He said that out of caution, Sutherland Global has decided to close the facility effective 8pm Wednesday, April 15.

While Alorica has been shuttered since Good Friday, Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced in parliament Wednesday night that all call centres in St Catherine have been ordered closed.

This means large companies like IBEX and Conduent are affected.

Meanwhile, Sutherland has indicated that its South Camp Road location will remain closed until further notice. In the interim, it will deep clean and fumigate the entire site. This includes detailed sanitising of production suites, breakrooms, the cafeteria, and high touch areas and items such as computers, lockers, elevator buttons and door handles.

“We will resume operations on the advice the Ministry of Health and Wellness,” Almond told staff.

He also urged employees to self-quarantine and to call the health ministry if they develop any COVID-19 symptoms.

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: