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Coronavirus cases rise at Norfolk chicken factory


By PA News

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A further eight workers have tested positive for coronavirus at a chicken factory in Norfolk, bringing the total to 104 positive cases.

Banham Poultry in Attleborough was forced to partially close last week and extra mobile testing units are being brought in to offer tests to anyone connected to the site.

All staff at the plant, and their households, are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days if they have not tested positive and for 10 days if they have tested positive.

Banham Poultry in Norfolk (Joe Giddens/PA)
Banham Poultry in Norfolk (Joe Giddens/PA)

Households of those who have tested positive are asked to isolate for 14 days.

Norfolk County Council’s director of public health, Dr Louise Smith, said on Tuesday: “The latest total of positive tests from the Banham Poultry site has risen to 104, out of 769 results returned.

“This is a smaller rise than in previous updates.

“On current projections, that would give us an approximate infection rate across the whole site of around 13%, compared to the total of 23% we found when we tested staff in the cutting room.

“We are encouraging people who work at Banham Poultry and their households to get tested.

“This can be done in a number of ways, including by mobile testing units.

“Colleagues from the Health and Safety Executive and Breckland District Council environmental health have visited the factory to offer advice and support to Banham Poultry, to plan for the resumption of all processes in a Covid-secure way.”

The factory was forced to partially close last week (Joe Giddens/PA)
The factory was forced to partially close last week (Joe Giddens/PA)

Staff who are self-isolating are being offered support from the Norfolk Assistance Scheme, including food and medical supplies and hardship fund payments.

Contact tracing is taking place to alert anyone who has been linked to Banham Poultry workers who have tested positive for Covid-19.

Norfolk County Council’s leader, councillor Andrew Proctor, said: “Banham Poultry has made a request for financial support which will be considered by officials and ministers.

“We have briefed the food industry about the situation and the additional precautions they should take to ensure the continued wellbeing of their staff.

“We are also briefing recruitment agencies.

“Of course, you can also play your part, by continuing to wash your hands thoroughly, observe social distancing and follow Government rules.”

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