A GP who tested positive for coronavirus was at work for one day but did not treat any patients, The Argus has learned.

It is understood that the patient, who worked at The County Oak Medical Centre in Carden Hill, Brighton, did one day of admin work.

This is the reason people in hazmat suits have been filmed deep-cleaning the building today.

>>> Coronavirus in Brighton

The centre shut suddenly earlier today.

When calling the centre, an answer phone message said: "Unfortunately the building has had to close due to an urgent operational health and safety reason.

The Argus:

"For non-urgent medical advice, please call NHS 111, or if you feel you need urgent medical advice, please call 999."

The medical centre is in the road adjacent to Carden Primary School.

Parents of pupils have been contacted by the school by text.

The message said: "You may well have seen reports in the news this afternoon regarding the County Oak Medical Centre being closed due to a confirmed case of coronavirus.

The Argus:

"The advice we have been given by the local authority remains the same as has been widely publicised.

"Should you have any concerns regarding the health of your chidlren or yourself, you should seek further advice.

"Should this advice change, we will let you know immediately."  

NHS Brighton and Hove CCG was contacted for comment this morning following the closure of the medical centre.

The Argus:

A Brighton and Hove CCG spokesman said: "Following the announcement that an individual in the Brighton and Hove area has been confirmed as having the coronavirus, Public Health England is carrying out a thorough risk assessment to trace this individual’s movements in the last fortnight. 

"The local NHS and Brighton and Hove Council are working closely with Public Health England to support this work. 

"Public Health England is prioritising contacting people who might have had close and sustained contact with the individual to provide them with health advice about symptoms and emergency contact details in case they become unwell.

The Argus:

"If you have not been contacted you do not need to take any action."

The spokesman also provided further information about the testing of coronavirus cases.

He said: "Testing of suspected coronavirus cases is carried out in line with strict regulations.

"This means that suspected cases are kept in isolation, away from public areas of the hospital and returned home also in isolation.

"Any equipment and staff that come into contact with suspected cases are thoroughly cleaned.

"Patients can be reassured that their safety is a top priority, and are encouraged to attend all appointments as usual."

The Argus:

The spokesman reassured residents of Brighton and Hove that "the NHS in Brighton and Hove and Public Health England are extremely well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases". 

He said: "The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.

"The risk to the general public is very low, unless you have recently returned from or transited through Wuhan, Hubei province, mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau, or been in close contact with an individual with confirmed coronavirus.

The Argus:

"Anyone who has travelled to China or the places listed above in the last 14 days and develops symptoms of cough or fever or shortness of breath, should immediately:

- Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu.

- Call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the country

"Like the common cold, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with novel coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact.

"A person can also be infected by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.

"The risk of being in close contact with a person with coronavirus or contaminated surfaces is very low at the current time, as members of the public who have visited Wuhan, Hubei province, China are currently in isolation."

The news followed the sudden closure of Seaford Medical Centre on Friday morning due to a "health and safety" issue.

It reopened later that day.

The NHS Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford CCG has been contacted for comment on the reason for the closure.

On Friday, the CCG has said that a statement will be released today saying why the health centre was closed.

The Argus:

At 1.50pm today a spokeswoman for the authority said the enquiry had been passed on to NHS Brighton and Hove CCG.

People are being advised to always carry tissues with them and use them to catch your cough or sneeze.

Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.

Also, to wash their hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.

Two final pieces of advice offered by Brighton and Hove CCG were to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, and avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

Further information can be found on the Public Health England website.