Greater Manchester Police (GMP) Neighbourhood Officer Joe Burrows made it to the birth of his second child just in time thanks to COVID testing.
Joe who lives in Wigan but works in Bolton, was displaying symptoms of COVID-19, so he was sent for testing through GMP. The following day, his wife, Gemma, went into early labour and due to restrictions at the hospital Joe unfortunately wasn’t able to join his wife.
He didn’t want to miss the birth of his child so Joe contacted Supt. Andrea Quinton, who is currently organising testing for GMP staff and officers, to explain the situation and see if there was anything she could do to help him obtain his test results earlier than the scheduled 72 hrs.
Supt. Andrea Quinton said: “We are extremely fortunate to be in a position where we have the facility to test our GMP officers and staff, alongside members of their family if they are displaying symptoms.
“As Baby Burrows decided to make an appearance a week early, naturally Joe was really worried at potentially missing the birth of his child. Thankfully I was able to put the request to the National Testing Programme Team and they were able to push his test result through quickly.
“Joe received his negative test result just 8 hours after my call and I am really grateful he was able to attend the hospital to be with his wife just a few short hours before his baby girl was born at 1.50am the following day.”
PC Burrows said: “I was slightly concerned when Gemma told me she was in labour as she wasn’t due until the following week. Thankfully my test results were able to be fast-tracked through and after testing negative, I was able to head into the hospital to be with Gemma just in time to welcome our beautiful baby girl Georgiana into the world.
“We already have a little boy Leo, who is two-and-a-half, so I know Georgiana could have come any moment. I’m so thankful that my results were able to be put through quickly and I could be with Gemma in the hospital.
“At this current time, it’s fantastic to be able to have some positive news to look back on and I’ll definitely be telling Georgiana all about this when she’s older.”
Department of Health and Social Care Health Minister Lord Bethell said: “This heart-warming story shows another important benefit of mass testing – a huge congratulations to PC Burrows and his family on the birth of their daughter.
“The Government is rapidly scaling up the national effort to boost testing capacity for frontline workers to protect the vulnerable and ultimately save lives.
“New regional testing sites are helping to end uncertainty of whether key workers need to stay at home, meaning those who test negatively are able to return to work.”